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Deer Task Force Finalizes 200-Page Recommendation

The Bloomington Monroe County Deer Task approved the recommendations they will give to the city council next month. After two years of looking at deer overpopulation in the area and studying what can be done to quell the abundance of deer, the group has finalized a 200-page document.

County Commissioner Iris Kiesling, who sits on the task force, says several options to control the deer population are being recommended.

“We looked at all the options, and the most humane way to kill a deer is to use a sharpshooter, but that is probably not something that is good in city limits, so that is the other thing, is that be looked at,” she says.

For the urban areas, especially the core neighborhoods in Bloomington, the task force is recommending using a snare device that will alert a wildlife biologist when a deer is caught. The biologist would then be sent to dispatch the deer with a single shot to the head.

Keisling says the recommendations still have several hurdles to get through before they can be implemented.

“We do have to have the mayor and the DNR sign off on whatever does happen,” she says. “Some things can be done in the county, but not until the DNR signs off on it, and in the city it’s going to have to be the same thing.”

Some citizens who are upset about the idea of shooting deer within city limits have spoken out against lethal solutions at the task force’s public meetings.

City Councilman Dave Rollo, who also sits on the task force, says several non-lethal population control methods were considered as well.

“We looked at things like contraception, ‘trap and relocate’, we looked at birth control, (and) none of those are feasible.”

Bloomington resident Nancy Hoff, who lives near Bryan Park, says the deer have chewed up her lawn and garden.

“They’re eating all the hydrangeas and the lilies,” she says. “One tore up a plant that was on my breezeway the other day.”

The task force’s recommendations will be presented to the Bloomington City Council October 3rd.

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