Thursday, July 16, 2009

MINNESOTA NEWS: City Officials Consider Urban Deer Management

Onalaska city officials are taking a closer look at the options they have to control the deer population.

Officials say they've gotten a number of complaints about deer coming too close to people and pets, property damage as well as car-deer accidents.

Wednesday, city leaders started talking about the specifics of the plan.

They say a non-lethal method is an option, but the results may not be permanent. Joe Barstow from the city says, "the deer will change their habits and adjust if you use sprays for smell and noise makers but there's always other options."

Approval by the city council on the management plan is expected to happen later this fall.

Source: WKBT

MINNESOTA NEWS: St. Cloud Hunt Enters Fourth Year

St. Cloud's ongoing effort to control its urban deer herd continues this fall with its fourth archery hunt.

The city will issue a limited number of permits for archery deer hunting. Applications are due July 31.

Areas near St. Cloud State University, the Minnesota State Correctional Facility-St. Cloud, Neenah Creek, Serenity Park and in River Bluffs Regional Park will be open to archers Sept. 19-Dec. 31.

Chris Forslund, health and inspections coordinator, said he would have liked to add more areas, but the city doesn't have enough resources to keep a close eye on safety if the hunting areas are expanded.

"We're trying real hard right now to keep it at a manageable level with our time spent on it and keeping it safe, too," he said.

Hunters with the special permits have killed a declining number of deer in the past three years. In 2006, hunters killed 24 deer. They killed 21 in 2007 and 13 in 2008.

Forslund said he hasn't seen any more deer complaints than usual but "the deer are everywhere."

The city will issue 70 permits, giving preference to those who applied but did not receive a permit in 2008, Forslund said.

Once permit candidates are selected, they will be notified by the city and must complete a proficiency test administered by the St. Cloud Archers Association.

If candidates are not able to pass the test, one of 20 alternate candidates will be chosen.

The proficiency test requires the candidate to place five of six arrows within a 9-inch circle from a 5 foot stand 20 yards away.


NEW JERSEY NEWS: Proposed Hunt Draws Ire

A deer hunt proposed by town officials has sparked the ire of several residents, who say the idea is inhumane, unsafe and irresponsible.

"It focuses on the desires of a select group of individuals: bowhunters," said attorney Wendy Bozzolasco, a Denville resident with an interest in animal rights.
Bozzolasco was one of several critics, some of whom live outside the township, who urged the town council Tuesday night to abandon the idea of a hunt.

The town explored the concept last month in response to concerns that the towns deer population has become so large that it is now a threat to the environment and drivers.

Council President Chris Dour said low-lying vegetation has been disappearing because of the deer herd.

Council members reached a consensus last month to work with the United Bowhunters of New Jersey. The nonprofit group, an association of bowhunters, plans to hunt deer from elevated stands in isolated areas.

No binding approval has been made, and details are still being worked out. The council hopes to run a 30-day trial of the program after the hunting season starts in mid-September.

Still, Bozzolasco and several others said the proposal lacks an awareness of all the consequences.

Former Councilwoman Laurie Toth said she thinks the town is too dense for the hunters to remain in seclusion. Councilman Nick Stecky echoed those reservations, saying that "kids don't walk on the paths all the time."

Above all, Bozzolasco said, bowhunts often don't kill deer swiftly or cleanly.

Instead, she said, the town should employ non-lethal methods, such as installing fences and trimming vegetation in grazing areas. Deer contraception and sterilization should also be done, she said.

That way, she said, the deer population will drop naturally as the food supply runs out.

Mayor Ted Hussa said yesterday that the critics claims arent necessarily supportable.

"We're not saying were going to have a hunt every year," he said. "Right now, it's the right thing to do."

Meredith Petrillo, Denvilles animal control officer, believes that not doing the bow hunt could mean more agonzing deaths for local deer.

"Mother Nature would be very cruel in terminating the lives of deer via starvation," she said.


MONTANA NEWS: Special Deer Hunt Scheduled for Marias River State Park

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has approved a limited-access deer hunt at the new Marias River State Park and Wildlife Management Area southwest of Shelby.

Hunters have until Aug. 7 to apply online or by mail.

Applications are available at all FWP regional offices or via the FWP Web site at

There will be an archery season from Sept. 5 through Oct. 18; and a rifle season from Oct. 25 through Nov. 15. During any given week, only 10 hunters will be allowed in the park and wildlife management area.

Wildlife biologist Gary Olson says area residents, at meetings last winter, stated their preference for a limit on the number of hunters using the new property.

MICHIGAN NEWS: City Says No to Deer Hunt

Deer will be free to roam the west end of the city after Muskegon city commissioners this week declined to explore a controlled hunt.

A group of 30 residents in the Beachwood Neighborhood petitioned the city to do something about the growing number of deer in areas from Kruse Park to Pere Marquette Park along the city's Lake Michigan shoreline. The deer reportedly have been destroying gardens and landscaping.

City staff investigated deer herd control options with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and found that available options are costly and not effective. And city staff and commissioners didn't want to pursue the controversial option of a controlled hunt.

"I wouldn't be in favor of using firearms in a residential area," Director of Public Safety Tony Kleibecker told commissioners at their work session this week. "It would have to be a bow hunt. But we are told that has not been that successful."

Two options outlined by a DNR wildlife biologist would be to "translocate" the deer by trapping and transporting them outside of the city or by feeding the deer contraceptive-laced foods to keep birthrates low. In both cases, the costs are high and the effectiveness low, Kleibecker said of the opinions of DNR officials.

"We live in an area of the state that deer are present and they have no real predators other than automobiles," the police chief said. Kleibecker said he found no evidence of increased deer-auto accidents in the city this year.

An informal poll of commissioners found none wanting to pursue a controlled hunt nor any other deer-herd containment program.

The deer hunt option was pursued by officials in Grand Haven. The long-term effects on the deer herd are not yet known. In the meantime, the controlled hunts in Grand Haven resulted in public protests by those not wanting to harm the deer.

Mayor Steve Warmington told commissioners that since the Beachwood group petitioned the city in June about the possibility of a controlled bow hunt in the neighborhood, many west-end residents have told him they enjoy having deer around.

"I love the deer but we just want to control them," said Gail Funk, a Knollwood Court resident who told commissioners she has lost $200 worth of plants eaten by the neighborhood deer. "We can't control the herd if it's impossible. I'm not going to fight city hall on this."

Warmington said that city staff are making two suggestions for residents having problems with deer on their property. DNR officials suggest either using high fencing that is designed to keep deer away from flowers and gardens or the use of commercially sold deer repellent products.

Source: MLive

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Deer Reduction Sought in National Historic Park

The Morris County Park Commission and New Jersey Audubon Society are awaiting a reply from the National Park Service about sanctioning a deer hunt in Jockey Hollow.

David Helmer, the park commission executive director, and Thomas J. Gilmore, Audubon Society president, urged the hunt to reduce the area's white-tailed deer herd. They wrote on June 29 to Randy Turner, superintendent of the Morristown National Historic Park, which includes the 2,500-acre Jockey Hollow section.

Turner said Tuesday that Jockey Hollow is expected to get the initial funding for a three-year deer management study in the 2010 federal budget that begins in October. The funding depends on Congress and the president signing the budget, he said.

Jockey Hollow is adjacent to the Audubon Society's headquarters at the Scherman Hoffman-Wildlife Sanctuary and Morris County's Lewis Morris Park, where hunting is scheduled.

The Morris park commission's 2008-09 deer hunt resulted in the removal of 336 deer, up from 307 in 2007-08, a new report said [ed note: this is a removal of 86 deer per square mile!]. In 2008-09, 249 antlerless deer and 40 antlered deer were killed. Of that total, 68 deer were removed from Lewis Morris Park.

Charles Zafonte, director of natural resources and horticulture, said the 2009-10 schedule would include bow hunting in the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, Old Troy Park, Tourne County Park and, for the first time, Jonathan's Woods.

The June 29 letter said adjacent municipalities allow hunts, leaving only Jockey Hollow without a deer management program.

"A deer management program at MNHP will greatly help to restore the natural and historic landscape the park is meant to protect," Helmer and Gilmore wrote.

The pair requested the National Park Service "accept its obligation to be a responsible neighbor" and take quick action to endorse a deer management program.

They cite the return of natural habitat and diverse animals to park lands where the deer herd has been culled, but also note in the past 15 years the Scherman-Hoffman sanctuary has lost 13 species of ground or shrub-nesting birds as deer have overbrowsed the landscape.

Jockey Hollow "has become the universal poster child for deer-damaged landscapes," Helmer and Gilmore wrote.

Source: Daily Record

Monday, July 13, 2009

NEW YORK NEWS: Cornell Issues Progress Report on Campus/Community Deer Management

A 13-page progress report on Cornell University's Integrated Deer Research and Management Study was recently issued, with updated data on sterilization surgeries, culling and research protocols that include infrared-triggered cameras.

Under "expected outcomes," Drs. Paul Curtis and Jay Boulanger in CU's Department of Natural Resources write: "We will evaluate whether it is possible to integrate deer fertility management with a controlled hunting program to meet localized deer management objectives. The goal is to reduce overall deer abundance and associated impacts (primarily plant damage), and deer-vehicle accidents on and near the Cornell University campus. If this integrated management program is successful, it may have additional applications in other communities in New York state and the Northeast." Additional public presentations on this work will be held later this year, (dates TBD), and results will be published in peer-reviewed literature. To view the full report, access

Source: The Ithaca Journal