The deer management program for Syracuse, New York reported that 159 deer were taken in the city over the past winter.
March brought forth the conclusion of the 2019-20 deer management program in Syracuse, but also assumptions that the process will be on-going, perhaps for several more years.
According to New York Upstate, "Venison from the dead deer resulted in 4,062 pounds of meat donated to local homeless shelters, equivalent to about 16,250 meals." Greg Loh, chief policy officer for the city said that the city wants to continue the deer management program for "multiple years" to get closer to the ideal amount of deer taken from the suburban and urban areas (roughly about 10 per square mile).
The program, which began in the early part of December, 2019, saw the sharpshooters and wildlife managers, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, set up over baited areas armed with rifles using noise suppressors. They began by setting up around sunset and staying out until about 2:00 a.m.
The deer cull effort was divided into four distinct quadrants of the city, northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest to better identify the ares of most concern due to deer-car collisions, property damage, and possible tick infestation.
The southeast zone saw the greatest cull with a total of 79 deer taken, followed by the southwest with 47.
All the hunting sites were located at least 300 feet from the road and the full 500 feet from a residence, as allowed by NYS law. These locations were either on property already owned by the city or private land where the owner or owners had given permission for the cull.
Loh and city Common Councilor Joe Driscoll stated that the Syracuse deer management program is part of the larger effort of deer and tick management in and around the city, which includes continued public education, public meetings and the greater desire for public input.
The entire plan can see seen on the Syracuse City website.
City councilors say that they've had mixed reactions from residents about the effectiveness of this winter's deer cull, with some residents saying they're noticing lower deer numbers, and others claiming they're seeing the same amount of deer and even more.
Loh said that property owners who want to have their own property included in next year's deer management program can contact the city parks department directly (315-473-4330) or to even call the office of the Mayor (315-448-8005).
The bottom line is to ensure health and human safety while also understanding the effect of urban deer populations on the area, including having a healthy deer herd.