Logan City Mayor Craig Petersen’s story is a common one: 10 years ago he rarely saw a deer; five years ago, it was seasonal, deer came down during the winter; but now, the urban deer are here all year round.
Petersen said deer management is now a serious problem because they cause property destruction, personal and vehicle encounters and even the possibility of drawing predators into the city.
The mayor told the council that doing nothing is not an option because the deer herds keep getting larger.
“The goal of the program would be not to eliminate the urban deer herd. I think the urban deer are part of our community and they have been here for a long time. A lot of people appreciate them. I think the goal would simply be to manage them at a reasonable number. I’m not sure exactly what that number would be. But I’m quite sure that a reasonable number would not be what we would experience five years from now.”
The mayor said he has learned the city of Highland has an archery hunt that got rid of 120 deer in two years while Bountiful chose a trap-and-relocate program which trimmed their number by 200 in two years, a plan recently started in North Logan.
Petersen said he wants to work with the Division of Wildlife Resources on developing a program and also seek extensive public input because people are divided on the issue. Either way, Petersen said, the goal would be to manage numbers, not eliminate all urban deer.