Saturday, January 23, 2010

NORTH CAROLINA NEWS: Deer Culled at Biltmore Estate

Despite the opinion of a biologist that the killing of deer in this town is not necessary from a population-management standpoint, town leaders are again trying to cull the herd.

Town workers have killed 15 white-tailed deer under a state permit issued for 2009 and extended into 2010.

The number of bagged deer is way down from previous hunts. Hunters shot 150 deer in 2003 and 90 in 2005, trying to keep the deer from overrunning the heavily wooded town next to sprawling Biltmore Estate.

But a local wildlife biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Commission says in his opinion the town doesn't need to shoot any deer. “I don't think they have any problem with deer right now,” Mike Carraway said. Some residents of the town also have misgivings about the culling scheme.

Still, in the opinion of town leaders: “Every year we want to try to take a small harvest so we can control the population. We don't want to get back up to the 400 or 500 deer we had a few years ago,” said Mayor George Goosmann.

The meat doesn't go to waste. It is donated through Hunters for the Hungry, and about 4,000 pounds of venison has gone to Asheville's MANNA Food Bank since the hunts began in 2003, Goosmann said.

Town officials applied directly to Raleigh for the depredation permit, bypassing Carraway, who can issue permits locally. Carraway typically issues those permits to farmers who can show damage to their property with deer eating soybeans or bear eating corn.

Residential property owners can also apply for depredation permits to kill deer if they can show the animals are eating their shrubbery and landscaping.

Full story at: Asheville Citizen-Times

Friday, January 22, 2010

SOUTH AFRICA NEWS: Deer Remaining on Robben Island to be Removed or Culled

Robben Island has given conservationists until the end of the month to obtain permits for the live capture and removal of about 30 remaining fallow deer, or it will continue the culling process.

Lekgetho James Makola, acting senior manager at Robben Island Museum, said the cut-off date was necessary so a final decision could be taken on whether the culling of the deer would resume.

Robben Island officials have met representatives from animal welfare group Four Paws International, which runs the Lions Rock sanctuary in the Free State, to discuss a proposal for the capture and relocation of the fallow deer.

Makola said Four Paws International presented a proposal for the sterilisation, capture and removal of the deer.

"We have approved their proposal and have given the go-ahead for them to obtain permits for the relocation."

According to Makola, Four Paws International has until the January 31 to come up with the permits.

He said the island had tried for three years to obtain such permits, but all applications had failed.

About 220 deer have been culled in the problem animal control operation under way on the island.

Three months ago, the museum, CapeNature, SPCA, and others were approached by interest groups offering to find an alternative home for the deer, and agreed to suspend the culling.

Makola said he hoped Lions Rock would meet the requirements set by CapeNature.

"We are hoping that their application will be successful, so that we can put this behind us.

"But if they fail to do so, we will have to revert to the culling programme."

Dr Amir Khalil, director of project development at Four Paws, said the organisation had offered "to assist with the capture and removal of the fallow deer, and placement in a sanctuary approved by relevant parties".

"The monitoring and supervision of the capture, sterilisation and translocation will be done exclusively by the SPCA Cape of Good Hope," he said.

Four Paws had agreed to carry the cost of the capture, translocation, logistics and life-long care of the deer.

"The best time to move the animals is in March and April, but we are ready at any time to do the transfer."

Khalil said Four Paws was awaiting a response from Free State Nature Conservation about the permits.

"Once we obtain these, we can summit a full application to CapeNature for a final decision on whether a capture and transport permit will be approved," he said.

Source: Independent Online

VIRGINIA NEWS: Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in State

Chronic wasting disease has been found for the first time in a Virginia white-tailed deer.

A hunter in Frederick County killed the sickened deer this month, less than a mile from where the disease was found several years ago in West Virginia.

The illness affects portions of the deer's brain and causes a general decrease in body condition, behavioral changes, excess salivation and death.

The disease affects deer only and is not transmittable to humans or other animals, including livestock, dogs or cats.

Virginia now joins 17 states and Canadian provinces where the illness has been found.

Source: NBC29

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ILLINOIS NEWS: Near Record Deer Harvest in 2009

Officials say hunters killed nearly 200,000 deer in the latest deer hunting season.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources says a still-preliminary figure of 189,277 deer for the 2009-2010 season compares with a similar total of 188,901 for the 2008-2009 period.

The agency says hunters took 50.5 percent does and 49.5 percent males in the latest harvest.

Illinois' record deer harvest occurred in 2005-2006 season, when 201,301 deer were taken.


MISSOURI NEWS: 2009 Marks Fourth Largest Harvest in State History

The Missouri Department of Conservation reported Wednesday that this year’s harvest of white-tailed deer was the fourth-largest in state history.

The season closed Friday with Missouri hunters checking a total of 299,461 deer during the 152 days of hunting, according to a department news release. Hunters took most of the deer during the November portion of the season. During those 10 days, 193,155 deer were checked with the department.

Despite the brutally cold weather that gripped Missouri for the past few months, every portion of the season was up from the previous season. Muzzleloader kills went up by 55 percent from last season, and youth kills went up by 44 percent. Both set new state records. Archers took 7,538 more deer than in 2008.

Source: Columbia Missourian

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

IOWA NEWS: Deer Feeding Illegal in Clive

Residents intentionally setting out food for deer would have 24 hours to remove it or face fines.

Officials hope a proposed law against deer feeding will lower Clive's deer population to recommended levels.

The Clive City Council voted 5-0 on Jan. 7 to approve the first reading of an ordinance that would create fines for residents caught leaving food out for deer. The council will have to vote on the ordinance at least one more meeting before it can be enacted.

The Parks and Recreation Board met several times in recent months to discuss deer feeding. According to the Polk County Deer Task Force, the city has 50 deer per square mile of habitat. The Department of Natural Resources recommends holding the deer population to 15 per square mile.

Overpopulation comes with an increased risk of Lyme disease for people and pets, and of course, damage to vehicles.

"They are wonderful animals to look at and everyone enjoys them, but we have plenty of them in the city of Clive," Parks and Recreation Director Kelly Canfield told the council.

Canfield said his department has received reports of Clive residents putting out mineral blocks, fruit and grain to attract deer to their yards.

"My hands are pretty well tied," he said. "I can't really go out and do anything with that."

If the ordinance is enacted, residents caught feeding deer will be given 24 hours to remove the deer feed before incurring a fine. The ordinance would create a $750 fine for the first time someone was found feeding deer, and a $1,000 fine for the second offense. Canfield said his department would hope to convince residents to stop feeding deer without having to actually fine anyone.

The ordinance would not prohibit bird feeders, which can sometimes attract deer. Nor would it prohibit fruit trees or vegetable gardens that deer might enjoy.
Urbandale enacted a similar ordinance in November 2007. Councilman Eric Klein said Urbandale's policy drove deer to neighboring cities where residents can still put out food for them.

"Inadvertently, we've become a magnet for more deer," Klein said.

Source: DeMoines Register

ARKANSAS NEWS: Hope Considers Urban Cull

City officials in Hope are considering an urban deer hunting season with bows and arrows.

The high concentration of deer roaming the city's street has the Board of Directors seriously considering an urban hunt for the fall, which should be decided on by no later than March, said City Manager Catherine Cook.

If approved, Hope would join Bull Shoals, Hot Springs Village, Cherokee Village and Heber Springs as the only Arkansas cities with urban hunts.

In the past six years, 28 deer have collided with vehicles within Hope city limits, including one collision with a police patrol car, according to a report from Police Chief J.R. Wilson.

City officials say manicured lawns, flowers, fruit-bearing trees and shrubs within city limits lure the deer out of the woods.

Early last fall, Board Member Don Still proposed the city consider ways to deal with deer living in the city limits. The board soon after consulted with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, which suggested an urban hunt, incorporating the city limits into the regular bow hunting season and restricting feeding deer within the city.

"A special season was picked for this hunt. There is a no bag limit, although the goal is to bag at least 150 deer to keep up with the births from the previous year," according to a report from the Game & Fish Commission.

Source: FoxNews

Monday, January 18, 2010

OHIO NEWS: Salon Suspends Deer Cull, Cites Cost

Deer need not fear sharpshooters in Solon for now. One of the few cities in northeast Ohio that contracted for culling has suspended the practice for at least this year.

Mayor Susan Drucker said a tighter budget and the need to examine how often culling is necessary are the major reasons council halted the program.

But the thinning of deer herds continues. Park districts in Cuyahoga and Summit still use sharpshooters and a number of municipalities allow residents to bow hunt in-season.

Culling is expensive. Solon spent $782,925 over the past five years. The city paid for the shooters, meat processing, and police overtime

The program, hotly contested by animal-rights activists and residents concerned with safety, was started in 2005 because of the high number of deer-vehicle accidents and complaints of yard damage.

The arguments in favor of culling are echoed in other communities where deer are multiplying.

Before hunting season last year, Ohio counted 650,000 deer, said Scott Peters of the Department of Wildlife, and 252,000 were harvested.

In 2008, deer-vehicle collisions numbered 25,000 statewide (459 of those in Cuyahoga County), and have dropped because of culling, Mr. Peters said.

In Solon, deer-vehicle collisions dipped to 54 last year from 161 in 2004, Ms. Drucker said, and the city's deer population as of September was 450 compared to 1,200 in 2005.

Cleveland Metroparks will spend $45,000 to thin herds with sharpshooters through February, spokesman Jane Christyson said.

A total of 343 deer will be taken in the Metroparks' Bedford, Bradley Woods, Brecksville, Mill Stream Run, North Chagrin, and Rocky River reservations, she said.
The park district has tried to reduce its deer numbers for 11 years, but for a different reason.

Mr. Peters said more than 15 communities in Cuyahoga and Summit counties allow residents to bow hunt, which costs less than a formal management program because hunters pay the cost of permits and meat processing.

Twinsburg Mayor Katherine Procop said she has not heard any complaints about bow hunting in the city, which is regulated. Hunters must pass an archery proficiency test, hunt in an area 4 acres or larger, and get written permission from the landowner.

Broadview Heights will vote Feb. 16 on a measure to permit bow hunting starting next season. Bow hunting in Ohio ends Feb. 7.

Source: Toledo Blade