DWR to work with cities in controlling deer populations

A deer in a Logan front yard.

LOGAN – Cities across Utah, including several in Cache Valley, could be receiving help from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) in controlling urban deer populations in the near future because of a new ruling.

The ruling, which took effect August 15, will allow the DWR to work individually with cities in the state to create and implement plans to control deer populations. According to Phil Douglass, the DWR northern region outreach manager, each participating city will be able to create a plan based on its individual needs and public input.

The ruling came after a pilot program was implemented in both Bountiful and Highland and was successful in removing large amounts of deer from within the cities. Both cities used different methods to remove the deer. Bountiful used a non-lethal trap and release program while Highland used certified volunteer archers to lethally hunt the deer within city limits.

“Ultimately, it is kind of up to the city to decide what they want they want to do,” said Darren DeBloois, DWR biologist. “But we’ll work with them and work out a plan.”

In order for a city to qualify for the program, it needs a population of at least 1,000 and a submitted application estimating the current number of deer in the city and the target amount for removal. Each plan would be valid for three years.

DeBloois said so far Logan, North Logan, Newton and Mendon are the cities in the valley that have been in communication with the DWR about creating removal plans. He said North Logan, which has already done some trap and relocate, could be looking at putting a plan together as early as this fall.

“Some of the other cities would like to see something take place this winter,” DeBloois said. “It’s kind of on their timetable, what they can undertake. It’s ultimately really up to them.”

DeBloois said the DWR doesn’t have the manpower to handle every Utah city, so each city will provide their own personnel and carry out the plan.

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