Thursday, August 20, 2009

IOWA NEWS: Town Enters 4th Year of Culling

As set by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the City of Ottumwa’s deer season for bow hunters will begin on September 12, 2009 and will run through January 31, 2010. The City’s deer hunting program was implemented in 2005 as a method to safely reduce the deer population within the city limits of Ottumwa. Last year, seventy-eight (78) deer were harvested as a result of the program. Since 2005, the program has successfully reduced the deer population by four hundred twenty-seven (427) deer.

Hunters interested in participating in the City’s deer season must possess a State of Iowa hunting license, a DNR Ottumwa deer tag from the Wapello County Recorder’s Office, and register with the City of Ottumwa through the Ottumwa Police Department. Hunters are required to pass an annual shooting proficiency test at Whitetail Archery in Agency, Iowa with the bow they will be hunting with and must follow all rules and regulations prescribed by the DNR and the Chief of Police.

Source: HeartlandConnection

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Deer Census A Likely Prelude to Deer Cull

The white-tailed deer population in the township could soon find themselves being watched. This week the Township Committee unanimously approved a resolution encouraging Union County to study the number of deer that live in the parks and wooded areas in Cranford.

The move comes after a discussion in July when members of the Cranford Environmental Commission, Hanson Park Conversancy, the Tree Advisory Board, and the Union County Board of Agriculture called for the committee to act on the issue. Making their case, residents said last month that white-tailed deer had crowded into wooded areas of Nomehegan Park and the grassy land of the Lenape Basin before moving into the surrounding residential areas, crossing major roads such as Springfield Avenue and Kenilworth Boulevard along the way.

The Township Committee members agreed with the idea of helping to thin the herd, passing the resolution that mentioned a visual inspection of the areas the deer frequent that showed a clear loss of the understory of vegetatrion in the parkland.

The move has drawn comments on both sides of the issue, with some residents supporting a deer hunt as a humane way to deal with a deer population that is out of control, while others have objected to any attempts to thin the herd as a cruel reaction to animals forced out by of their habitat by suburban sprawl.

According to the Cranford Police Department, there have been few accidents involving collisions between a deer and a vehicle, however, the accidents have been reported on Springfield Avenue, Kenilworth Boulevard and Orange Avenue.

While Union County allows a deer hunt in the area around the Watchung Reservation, usually once each year, such a measure has never been held in the area of the township.

Even with the resolution seeking action with regard to the white-tail deer population, the committee members said they would encourage efforts to thin the herd, such as trapping and relocation, or birth control measures.

"We'll make it clear that we want a shotgun hunt to be a method of last resort," Mayor David Robinson said this week of the efforts.


NEW JERSEY NEWS: Denville Approves Deer Hunt

The Denville Township Council voted in favor of a deer hunt and will meet next month to discuss how to institute it in a safe manner.

"Initially I was opposed to the deer hunt," said township councilwoman Deborah A. Smith. "But after hearing testimony on the state of deer in Denville and how unhealthy they are, I am in support of the culling of the heard."

Denville's 11 square miles can not sustain the 2,000 deer that populate the area (182 deer per square mile!), according to Smith, who said that having a hunt will preserve both the deer and local vegetation which deer are eating due to lack of adequate food supply. The vote was taken Tuesday night.

The manner in which the hunt will take place and when will be discussed at the next meeting, which will be held on Sept. 1 in the municipal building at 1 St. Mary's Place.

In response to concerns about safety, the town will publish the locations and dates of the hunts, which will likely be done by bow hunters. The town will also require hunters go through a training program to learn how to hunt in as humane a manner as possible, Smith said.

Some Denville residents oppose the hunt, which would be the township's first in recent memory.

Wendy Bozzolasco, a concerned Denville resident and Morristown attorney, said she has researched the implications of deer hunts extensively and opposes them because they will exacerbate some of the problems they are intended to solve: automotive collisions and ticks among humans.

Citing a study from the Erie Auto Insurance Group, Bozzolasco said that insurance claims often increase during deer hunting seasons because deer, fleeing hunters often enter the roadway. Moreover, killing deer, Bozzolasco said, can increase Lyme disease among humans because deer do not spread the disease. Rather they act as hosts for ticks, she said.

"Deer are not a vector species for Lyme disease. A white tail mouse is the vector species," Bozzolasco said. "Ticks need a large bodied warm host," and when there are less deer, ticks seek out people, she said.

Bozzolasco said there are legal implications to moving forward with the proposed deer hunt and the town's plan to donate excess venison to a charity in Paterson.

"There are repercussions in terms of liability if people are injured or property damaged and specifics of that have not been discussed," Bozzolasco said. "What liability would there be if toxic meat would be donated."

Smith said the council has considered the legal implications of allowing a hunt.

"We're always concerned about those things. The group we're talking to carries their own liability. It's been done in Mountain Lakes and in Randolph," said Smith. "This is not a new thing."

Denville resident Genie Cisti, 48, suggested other alternatives include installing roadside reflectors that would discourage deer from entering roadways and encouraging residents to plant deer resistant plants.

Source: DailyRecord

MARYLAND NEWS: Community Fights Lyme with Four-Posters

'Faced with the highest number of reported Lyme disease cases in the state, Howard County officials have expanded a program to combat the disease.

The county has installed four new "Four-Poster" devices, which coat deer with pesticide that kills the ticks that cause Lyme disease, in Schooley Mill Park in Highland, said Philip Norman, deer project manager for the county Department of Recreation and Parks.

"That area of the county had an extremely high incidence of Lyme disease," Norman said. "The primary concern we have here is Lyme disease carried by the black-legged tick, also called the deer tick."

The devices, installed at the beginning of July, joined six others in Blandair Park, in Columbia, which were installed in 2005, Norman said. They consist of a dish of corn surrounded by four rollers, which roll pesticide onto the deer's head and ears as it noses toward the food.

Norman noted that ticks tend to concentrate around the head and ears, plus the deer then uses its head to groom the rest of its body, spreading the pesticide.

The United States Department of Agriculture developed the device in the 1990s and they are manufactured in Ellicott City, Norman said. "It's amazing in its simplicity," he said.

Howard County had the highest number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the state in 2008, according the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

There were 369 confirmed and probable cases reported in the county in 2008, the department reported last month, up from 358 in 2007. Statewide, the total decreased from 2,576 cases in 2007 to 2,216 in 2008.

Officials have attributed the increase here to increased development.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria transmitted by an infected tick. If not detected and treated, it may cause chronic symptoms that can include joint pain, heart palpitations and neurological problems, according to Howard County health officials.

Norman said treating the deer is key to combating the disease. "After several years of treatment in any given area you can greatly reduce the prevalence," Norman said. The white-tailed deer is the primary host of the adult tick in the county, Norman said.

The Four-Poster devices are manufactured by C.R. Daniels Co., an Ellicott City-based firm.

Andy Szulinski, a vice president at C.R. Daniels, said the company manufactures about 400 Four-Posters a year, serving 20 states, Canada and Scotland. Each unit sells for about $800 and services between 50 and 100 acres, he said.

Szulinski said the company collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on designing the devices and is the only company in the country that sells them.

Deer host more ticks than any other animal, Szulinski said, making the device the most effective way of combating Lyme disease.

"You're going after the source of the adult ticks," he said.

All of the Four-Posters are made in the company's Ellicott City manufacturing plant, he added.

C.R. Daniels was established in 1918 and makes a variety of products, from carts used by the U.S. Postal Service to lawn and garden equipment, he said. The company has a 180,000-square foot plant in Ellicott City and a 100,000-square foot plant in Tennessee, he said.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

KANSAS NEWS: Police Officers to do the Shooting at Shawnee Mission Park

The Lenexa City Council on Tuesday cleared the way for police officers to significantly reduce the deer population in Shawnee Mission Park this fall.

The council unanimously approved a special event permit to allow a deer harvest in the southern half of the park, which is within Lenexa’s city limits. The park’s northern half is in Shawnee.

The permit, which costs $75, runs from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31 and was sought by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm said approving the permit wasn’t a matter of passing judgment on the deer program. He said that issue had been settled by the county Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners.

“It’s on parkland owned by the county. It’s their jurisdiction,” Boehm said. “They can lock down the park and do it in a safe manner. We believe it should be allowed.”

Vicki Charlesworth, Shawnee’s assistant city manager, said her city has an ordinance allowing law enforcement officers to shoot within the city limits, and that park officials did not need a special permit.

The park district is recruiting volunteer police officers to reduce the herd from about 200 deer per square mile to 50 — a 75 percent reduction. The culling could begin as early as October.

If shooting the deer doesn’t kill enough, the park district plans to bring in bow hunters to finish the job.

The park covers 3.5 square miles.

Park officials have said factors influencing their recommendation were statistics on deer-vehicle accidents, complaints from homeowners and commercial businesses about increased plant and landscaping damage, and concerns about diseases associated with ticks carried by deer. They added that the deer population also was affecting the ecology of the park.

Animal-rights activists have argued that overdevelopment in the area has destroyed deer habitat and have urged implementation of nonlethal methods of deer control.

Source: Kansas City Star

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MONTANA NEWS: Helena Deer Cull Expanded Again

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission has given tentative approval to allow an additional 150 mule deer to be killed in Helena between November and March.

As part of its proposal, Helena officials promised to further monitor the urban deer population and to look at the effects of a previous effort that removed 200 deer from the city limits. They also will tally how many deer live in the city and determine what the human tolerance is for them.

Some of Helena’s 30,000 residents like the animals’ presence but others complain about property damage, traffic obstruction and risk to people and pets.

Source: Great Falls Tribune

MARYLAND NEWS: National Park Considers Cull to Combat CWD

The spread of a disease fatal to white-tailed deer has prompted the National Park Service to endorse a lethal response at two Civil War battlefields in western Maryland.

The agency is seeking public comment through Sept. 18 on its preferred option of potentially slaughtering hundreds of deer at the Antietam (an-TEE'-tem) and Monocacy (mah-NAH'-kah-see) national battlefields if Chronic Wasting Disease is found within 20 miles.

Both parks are within 60 miles of confirmed cases of the brain disease in West Virginia.

The park service says killing large numbers of deer could prevent the disease from becoming established among the overpopulated herds within the parks.

The contagious illness is fatal to deer but poses no apparent risk to humans.

Source: WJZ

WEST VIRGINIA NEWS: Urban Bowhunting Approved in Charleston

Bow hunters will be able to stalk deer in Charleston two weeks early, but will want to take special care not to violate the rules of the hunt.

The Charleston City Council voted Monday to start the hunting season September 19 and to increase the bag limit from two to seven.

It also voted to institute penalties of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500 for violating the ordinance.

Councilman Jack Harrison says the new penalties will address the concerns of residents who say deer hunters stray from designated hunting areas and onto property where hunting isn't permitted.

Harrison hopes the new rules will attract more hunters, since the Charleston season will start earlier than other cities with urban hunts.

Source: WHSV