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Residents Weigh In On Deer Problem

Members of the task force say the specifics of their recommendation will be made public if and when City Council approves.

Deer

Photo: Indiana Public Media file

The task force has worked on the issues of affected gardens, driving safety, and the health of Monroe County deer.

The Bloomington-Monroe Deer Task Force met for the second time this week, but it is not ready to reveal the deer problem’s final solution. Members of the task force say the specifics of their recommendation will be made public if and when City Council approves.

David Parkhurst lives in the Southeast side of Bloomington, where he says the deer population has gotten out of control. He thinks hunting is the best and most humane option.

“I’m a gardener,” she says. “Deer have jumped over the eight foot fence, and gotten into my garden, and eaten my vegetable plants, and that bothers me because I give a lot of vegetables to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. I try to get there every week with vegetables, and the deer reduce the amount of food that I can take to them.”

There’s little debate over the abundance of deer in urban Bloomington, but resident Marc Haggerty claims the Lake Griffy population is over exaggerated. He says nothing needs to be done there.

“Yeah, I think this commission is what happens when you have a big university in a town that has a bunch of people that don’t understand wildlife at all,” he says.

Other Bloomington residents believe a more scientific solution would be best – if it were possible. Jay Paul Santa supports giving birth control to female deer, but says the United States Department of Agriculture does not.

“The USDA has not approved a safe for consumption chemical to use in that process,” he says. “And in my opinion, all the money that we can get, whether it be federal, state, or city, to deal with this issue should be put directly towards the research and development of a safe chemical for birth control.”

The task force’s proposal will be presented to City Council on October 24, when a decision could be reached.

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