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Deer Culling Strategies Planned for Suburban Pennsylvania

NY Times

In suburban Pennsylvania, where deer populations are out of control, wildlife management begins planning deer culling practices. 

In Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, eight miles outside of Pittsburg, whitetail deer populations have grown out of control, with automobile accidents with deer skyrocketing. With no natural predators and no hunting within the city, officials have proposed a culling method: where deer would be lured into corrals, shut in, and at night, shot on site by a crew of wildlife specialists.

Nine corrals, baited with food and set up in park areas, would be controlled with high-tech sensors and via text message, would shut the gate on a full herd of deer within the corral. A crew would quickly and efficiently kill the deer at night and at close range, dispatching up to 150 deer in the months of February and March.

Meat from the harvest would be donated to local food banks.

While there is some turmoil surrounding the culling strategy, officials claim this method is best. The deer will not be able to see their euthanizers because the culling will take place at night and the ability for the crew to shoot at such a close range should ideally make for a quick, ethical shot. Deer are rarely relocated for fear of spreading disease.

The Pennsylvania Game commission must approve the culling process before the corrals begin to be built.

In the future, Mt. Lebanon hopes to use archery hunting in lieu of the corral/kill method, however this year permits were not acquired on time.

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Deer Culling Strategies Planned for Suburban Pennsylvania