Mt. Lebanon is still trying to overcome tough challenges to begin deer population culling this fall.
Mt. Lebanon’s dense development and divided citizens are causing difficulty in the planning of culling nearly 150 deer around the city this fall.
Numerous homeowners in the area volunteered their properties for hunters to use to take deer from. Problems arose as close property lines from opposed neighbors are making getting outside the 50-yard minimum hunting distance from houses almost unobtainable.
Another issue is finding properties with enough cover for archers to hide behind while hunting. Most properties in the densely populated area are not large enough, or wooded enough for stands to be brought in or provide natural cover.
“Mt. Lebanon is a very challenging area to work with,” said Tony DeNicola of White Buffalo whose team was brought in to take out the deer.
They have been talking to as many people as they can, trying to get access to as many places as possible before their first day begins on the opening of deer season on September 19.
Nearly 70 percent of property owners have shown interest in allowing them to hunt on the land, but they haven’t had time to inspect them all as good hunting candidates.
DeNicola and his partner Jody Maddock have also held two meeting so far to ensure property owners and their neighbors know what they are in for when the hunts begin.
“Let’s say there are eight people on a cul-de-sac; seven say (hunting) is OK, and one says it’s not. Then I need to say, ‘What’s OK mean to you? Can police or animal control come in and remove a deer if it expires on your property?'” explained Maddock. “If they’re all on board, I have to know if they’re all OK with the possibility of a deer expiring in their driveway.”
The duo is waiting to hear if they can get a waiver for the 50-yard distance from buildings as long as the homeowner would allow it. They have also requested permission to hunt city-owned areas such as Bird Park, McNeilly Park, and a municipal owned golf course.
The deer culling was brought up to help eliminate the extremely high deer population in the area. Numerous complaints have been filed from citizens about grass ruined, gardens being destroyed, and the large increase in deer/vehicles collisions.