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Bloomington City Council Votes To Allow Deer Sharpshooting

The Bloomington City Council voted late last night to allow sharpshooters in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve to combat the overpopulation of deer.

deer

Photo: Indiana Public Media file

The overpopulation of deer in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve are reducing wildlife diversity.

The Bloomington City Council voted late last night to amend the prohibition of firearm discharge in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve as a way to combat the overpopulation of deer.

The lift on the prohibition will apply only to sharpshooters contracted by the city of Bloomington to restore ecological balance by eliminating part of the deer population.

The measure passed with a 4-3 vote with two city council members abstaining.

Opponents of allowing sharpshooters in the forest expressed concern about mass killing of the animals, as well as concern over allowing weapon discharge within city limits.

“It’s disappointing that the city council tonight has gone ahead with the same old approach of basically equating deer management with hunting, in this case sharp shooting, but going with the lethal solution before non-lethal options had truly been tried,” said Bloomington resident Sandra Shapshay.

Deer contraception was among the non-lethal methods recommended by the opposition.

The council was reluctant to endorse the idea because of its lack of expediency along with minimal study results proving its effectiveness and safety within the ecosystem.

“Which is worse? One shot, one kill or to let them malinger and die slowly because there’s no food?” said Scott Wells, owner of Environmental Enterprises and proponent of the sharpshooting.

The city has set aside a budget of $30,000 to address the overpopulation, which officials say is reducing wildlife diversity in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

  • Mike Turkhorn

    Watched it on CATS Live lastnight. Like the fact that
    Scott Wells had pictures to show the deer destruction on his property from overpopulation and said it is a countywide problem not just Griffy. Eating a large swath in those trees showed me how out of control the balance with the deer problem has become. Since when do deer eat trees? My wife and I are dealing with this same issue in the county. Must mean the deer are starving for food cause they normally eat grasses. Deer are running rampant in the county and they look scrawny and sick. Reducing the deer population is the answer to getting back to a healthy forest with biodiversity.

  • http://batman-news.com Susan Walden

    “The measure passed with a 4-3 vote with two city council members abstaining.”
    INCORRECT. The Sharpshooting Deer Ordinance passed 6-2-1. VOTING YES: Dave Rollo, Andy Ruff, Marty Spechler, Susan Sandberg, Chris Sturbaum, and Darryl Neher. VOTING NO: Dorothy Granger and Steve Volan. ABSTAINING: Tim Mayer.
    After all of the information that had been discussed and presented, How could Tim Mayer after two years STILL have NOT made his mind up? Perhaps in 10 years?

  • Jess

    “minimal study results proving its effectiveness and safety within the ecosystem.”

    Oh good.

  • Alexander Davis

    Worse than the destruction of the environment and the many motor vehicle fatalities is the fact that deer spread many diseases. It has been shown that Lyme disease epidemics have been stopped by deer removal. The deer tick infects us not only with Lyme disease, which can cause crippling arthritis and brain damage, but also with babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan viral encephalitis, all of which can be fatal. These diseases are increasing in incidence and in geographic distribution. The deer epidemic caused the Lyme epidemic. In 1930 there were 300,000 deer in the US. Today there are 30 million.

  • Simon Weber

    I’m quite certain Chris Sturbaum abstained as well.

  • Simon Weber

    Im quite sure Chris Sturbaum abstained as well.

  • Pingback: Bloomington Parks Board Considers Deer Sharpshooter Contract | Indiana News Feed

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