Valley Forge rejects deer birth control, so hunting continues, The Inquirer, Nov 27, 2017Sharpshooters have killed more than 2,000 deer since the culling program started seven years ago, and about 170 deer are estimated to remain there. For the second year, park officials have met their goal of 31 to 35 deer per square mile.
The hunt was only supposed to last four years. Then National Park Service officials said they would rely on a nonlethal solution to maintain animal habitats — deer birth control. Seven years later, that hasn’t happened. Park officials maintain they will limit their hunting when an “acceptable” reproductive-control method emerges that meets their criteria. No fertility vaccine on the market checks every box.
Antietam National Battlefield to again use sharpshooters to control deer herd, HeraldMailMedia.com, Nov 12, 2017 The National Park Service will again use experienced sharpshooters to reduce the number of white-tailed deer roaming the 3,250-acre Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg. Nortrup said managing the deer population is necessary to provide the long-term protection of the native vegetation and the historic landscape of the battlefield.
Injured Deer Put Down After Damaging Several Cars In Post Office Parking Lot, CBS Pittsburgh, Nov 7, 2017A panicked and injured deer was put down after running out of control at a post office in East Liberty. The animal slammed into several parked cars and left behind a trail of damage.
LM police OK’d to hunt deer in township parks, Mainline News, Nov 2, 2017By allowing police officers to hunt, this enables the township to get the permit to continue its annual deer culling program with outside sharpshooters that officials say has helped control the population over the years.
Diseased deer discovered in new spot in Pennsylvania, PennLive, July 13, 2017A free-ranging deer in Clearfield County has been confirmed as having chronic wasting disease, the Pennsylvania Game Commission revealed in announcing a news conference about the incident for noon today at the commission’s Harrisburg headquarters. The diseased buck was killed in an area of the state where CWD was detected previously, but only in deer in two captive deer enclosures.
25 wild deer test positive for chronic wasting disease, 27News.com, May 15, 2017 The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 25 wild deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in an area of the state where other wild deer have been found to have the fatal disease since 2012.
Winter cull removed 281 deer from Philly parks, Philly.com, April 11, 2017The program aims to mitigate the effects of deer overpopulation in the parks, such as reduced vegetation and deer-vehicle collisions.
Mount Lebanon, Michigan town have different approaches to deer problem, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 6, 2017“It’s good science and the [Ann Arbor commissioners] are open-minded about alternative solutions to the urban deer problem,” said Tony DeNicola, founder and executive director of White Buffalo. “They caught tremendous amounts of flak but didn’t cave in to the politics. They stayed focused on the science.”
Mt. Lebanon deer sharpshooting ends, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 3, 2017The sharpshooters of Mt. Lebanon stopped at 55 deer when spring-like weather made baiting stations ineffective.
Deer busts through glass door at Giant grocery store in Pa., USA Today, Feb 7, 2017One deer slammed into a window of Smoker’s Outlet, but didn’t cause any damage, Rizzo said. Another deer was seen running off through a nearby field. But the third ended up slamming into a glass door at Giant and briefly wreaked havoc inside, where some customers were shopping.
Pennsylvania again leads US in reported Lyme disease cases, Fox News, Dec 30, 2016Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, joint aches, swollen lymph nodes, headache and rashes. If left untreated, the disease can lead to arthritis and other problems.
A bad day to be a deer at Ridley Creek State Park, Daily Local News, Dec 1, 2016Thursday the annual hunt of white-tailed deer shut down Ridley Creek State Park to anyone except for hunters armed with shotguns and orange vests who were chosen to help in population control.
Watch as Cross Country Runner Collides With Deer, Finishes Race, WNEP16, Nov 17, 2016Justin DeLuzio, a Gwynedd Mercy University senior, was running in an 8k race on the DeSales race route just after noon when at least 10 deer ran into a line of runners from their left, and one of them hit.
Professor offers Mt. Lebanon commissioners affirmation on deer management, The Almanac, Sept 20, 2016 In its approximately six square miles, Curtis said that Mt. Lebanon could be home to 750 deer, according to studies that show 125 deer per square mile in high density areas. “Taking 200 deer helps, but if you’re going to have any chance of reducing deer-vehicular collisions, you are going to really have to escalate that number,” he told commissioiners. The target number for Curtis, who has been involved in wildlife management for 25 years, is 400.
Controversial deer cull starts again in Mt. Lebanon, WPXI.com, Sept 19, 2016 Archers will be again be able to start hunting deer in Mt. Lebanon on Saturday as part of a plan to control the deer population. The goal of the deer cull is to reduce the deer population by about 50 percent in the next five years. Last year, deer caused 73 vehicle crashes in Mount Lebanon. The hunt runs through Jan. 28, 2017.
Court allows archery deer hunt in Scott’s Twin Hills Park, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug 19, 2016Scott lost its attempt to prevent Mt. Lebanon from extending a deer-control program into Twin Hills Park, a 25-acre property fully located in Scott but purchased decades ago by Mt. Lebanon. Not recognizing political boundaries, deer routinely move from the mostly forested public park into Mt. Lebanon by crossing neighborhood streets and highways including Beverly and Cochran roads, where deer-vehicle collisions have occurred.
An attempt to launch a foundation-funded 10-year deer sterilization experiment was quashed in February, when the state Game Commission denied a request to authorize sterilization as part a special permit request.
Mt. Lebanon commissioners to take up deer issue once again, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug 9, 2016After successfully reducing the municipality’s nuisance deer population last fall, winter and spring, Mt. Lebanon commissioners will meet this evening to decide whether to continue.
Controlled archery and sharpshooting programs together removed more than 200 white-tailed deer. Municipal spokeswoman Susan Morgans said the program was considered “a successful first step” in reversing a trend of increasing deer population.
Cheltenham OKs deer management program, Montgomery News, July 27, 2016Testimony from area residents may have been the coup de grace in the board’s favoring the program, as the discussion shifted from wildlife preservation to a public health concern. Six citizens of Cheltenham Township cited personal grievances regarding deer inhabiting private property. Three of those citizens stated that they have contracted Lyme disease while living in the township.
Outdoors Notebook: Hunting required in managing deer, Pittsburgh Gazette, July 24, 2016The failure of many municipalities to provide science-based stewardship of their wild places has led to massive overpopulations of deer in urban parts of Pennsylvania and much of the eastern United States. Despite the opposition to hunting by some urban residents, nonlethal methods of deer control have been found to be usually impractical, if not experimental, by the time community leaders develop the political will to take action.
Pennsylvania Game Commissioners debate who best to control potentially sick deer, TribLive, July 23, 2016An idea being discussed, and the one favored by agency staff, is hiring sharpshooters from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to kill up to 300 deer over bait this winter on three locations inside of disease management area 2 in southwestern and southcentral Pennsylvania, the portion of the state where wasting disease has been found in the wild deer herd.
Deer put down after wandering downtown Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Action News4, June 19, 2016After the deer ended up inside a parking garage on Commonwealth Place, police put the animal down because of concerns it would get loose and run into traffic.
Mt. Lebanon challenges Scott for park ownership, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 16, 2016Mt. Lebanon filed a motion June 2 in Common Pleas Court to end a temporary injunction that supports Scott’s claim that Mt. Lebanon has no jurisdiction over Twin Hills Park, 25 acres of undeveloped grass and woodlands at Cochran and Greentree roads within Scott’s borders.
In 1995, Mt. Lebanon purchased the tract from Scott for $1 million. Last year, when Mt. Lebanon considered including Twin Hills Park in a deer-reduction program, Scott officials opposing the program challenged the municipality’s ownership of the park.
Pa. Game Commission looks into targeted removal for diseased deer, Citizen’s Voice, June 7, 2016 The method called targeted removal seems to keep the prevalence of chronic wasting disease to around 1 percent in Illinois, Wayne Laroche, the director of wildlife management, told the commissioners during their working group meeting in Harrisburg on Monday. Laroche said targeted removal might be more effective than issuing permits to let hunters kill more deer in areas where the disease has been found. Another idea, which he admitted might sound strange, is to fence land to prevent diseased deer from migrating. Wisconsin hasn’t used targeted removal and the disease is more prevalent there than in Illinois, although the outbreaks in both states began in 2002.
Wild-deer population with fatal disease doubles in Pennsylvania, LehighValleyLive, May 11, 2016Chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in 12 more free-ranging white-tailed deer in Pennsylvania, more than doubling the state’s known population of infected wild deer.
Culling of 219 deer a success, Mt. Lebanon official says, TribLive, April 29, 2016 Hunters killed 115 deer in a controlled sharpshooting hunt that began in February and ended in March.
They killed 104 deer in an archery hunt that was approved in September and ended in January. Both hunts took place on public and private land.
Pennsylvania communities must try hunting before getting deer-cull permits, Pennsylvania Outdoor News, April 12, 2016Despite long paying lip service to requiring communities to allow bowhunting to address deer problems, Game Commission officials have stopped short of actually forcing housing developments, homeowners associations and communities to allow hunting first, before granting permits for deer culling.
Whitehall Wildlife Committee expands focus to deer problem in borough, TribLive, March 22, 2016 The mayor launched a survey that was sent to all 6,200 homes in the borough in the spring 2015 Whitehall newsletter. Of the 223 people who answered the question “Is there a deer problem in Whitehall Borough?” 38 percent said there is an “urgent problem requiring immediate action,” while 25 percent said there is “not a problem at all.” Another 16.6 percent said there is a “serious problem requiring study.”
Mt. Lebanon sharpshooting program ends, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, March 11, 2916A sharpshooting program designed to reduce Mt. Lebanon’s deer population ended Wednesday with an unofficial count of 115 animals culled. The program was held on public land and private property with the owners’ permission. Commissioners want to drop deer-vehicle collisions by 50 percent in five years. Police records show those incidents had increased from 42 in 2012 to 58 in 2014. The nuisance animal patrol picked up 71 whitetail road kills in 2011 and 106 in 2014.
89-Year-Old Man Escapes Injured in One-Car Crash on Route 428, Oakland Twp., Explore Venango, Feb 28, 2016Police say around 12:43 a.m. on February 24, 89-year-old Walter Turner, of Franklin, was traveling north on Route 428 and encountered a deer on the roadway. He was unable to avoid the deer, and his 2014 Subaru Legacy impacted it with its front end. The car came to a rest a short distance from the initial impact in the northbound lane facing approximately north.
Sharpshooting for Mt. Lebanon deer cull could begin this week, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb 23, 2016Even as sharpshooters in Mt. Lebanon begin turning their sights toward the second phase of a deer cull to start as early as this week, the final report on the 104 deer already culled in an archery hunt was released. Commissioners on Monday reviewed the report with Jody Maddox of White Buffalo, a nonprofit wildlife management group that was paid $15,000 to cull the herd with a goal to reduce deer/vehicle accidents by 50 percent in five years.
Foundation pulls out of deer sterilization plan in Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb 16 2016“We got a letter from the Botstiber Foundation saying they … cannot offer Mt. Lebanon financial assistance [in the deer control program],” said Keith McGill, Mt. Lebanon municipal manager. “The letter from the Game Commission said they won’t support the sterilization project and listed several reasons.” A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania-based Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation confirmed the nonprofit group would not provide funding for the project, which was expected to cost some $200,000.
Mr. McGill said the Game Commission’s decision was based in part on Mt. Lebanon commissioners’ stated goal to reduce deer-vehicle collisions by 50 percent in five years. “They said in order to do that, deer must be removed from the population, and sterilization was not going to do anything to reduce existing numbers,” said Mr. McGill.
Mt. Lebanon girding for second round of deer culling, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb 3, 2016The Pennsylvania Game Commission has issued a special permit for nonprofit wildlife management organization White Buffalo to manage the cull. Three sharpshooters will fire from elevated platforms on deer at baited sites with earthen backstops. Commissioners say they’re trying to reduce deer-vehicle collisions by 50 percent in five years.
Cull deer in Saw Creek for sake of both woods and deer, Pocono Record, Jan 25, 2016Saw Creek residents and hunters should look at the larger picture: the sustainability of their natural landscape, the health of the deer themselves. Fewer deer will result in a healthier forest and less property damage.
Bizarre crash ends with deer in backseat, CNN, Jan 15, 2016A driver had quite a surprise when a deer came barreling through her windshield and ended up inside her car.
Mt. Lebanon deer culling to resume Monday, TribLive, Jan 26, 2016 Mt. Lebanon will resume its deer kill Monday with a controlled sharpshooting hunt, the next phase in the municipality’s controversial effort to thin its deer herd. Supporters say the cull will reduce deer-related car crashes. Opponents say any kind of hunting in the densely populated municipality is unsafe. Hunters have killed at least 101 deer on public and private land since Mt. Lebanon commissioners approved an archery program in September.
Deer Cull to Begin Soon, MTL Magazine, Jan 22, 2016The second phase of Mt. Lebanon’s Deer Management Program will continue Feb. 1 through March 31, with a cull of up to 150 deer conducted by sharpshooters certified by the nationally recognized wildlife management experts, White Buffalo, Inc.
The first phase of the 2015-16 deer management program was a controlled archery hunt managed by White Buffalo that began last fall and ended January 23. Aided by the Hunters’ Cooperative, a loosely organized group of experienced permitted hunters, the effort reached the goal of 100 deer with a large percentage of the meat donated to food banks.
Mt. Lebanon weighing nonlethal methods for deer population control, Post Gazette, Jan 19, 2016“To get a pure test result, the project would require that lethal deer control stop for five years,” Ms. Boyles Griffin said. And because the experiment would not remove deer from the test area, she said, it would not meet the municipality’s goal of reducing the deer population by 50 percent in five years.
“Culling” All Deer! Local Development Baits and Kills Deer To Curb Overpopulation Problem, PAhome, Jan 14, 2016Saw Creek Estates Community Association is overpopulated with deer. To control the herds, they cull them, or bait the deer into a safe area in the development and kill them. Culling season has begun, and lasts until mid-March. Hunters object
Mt. Lebanon’s controlled archery hunt netted 101 deer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan 5, 2016Eighty-one deer were harvested by archers who were recruited, screened and positioned by White Buffalo. An additional 20 were taken by independent archers who were not recruited by the contractor but who hunted independently.
According to the report, the hunt harvested eight antlered deer and 93 antlerless deer, of which 10 were male and 83 were female. In all, 82.2 percent of the deer killed were female.
Park service extends Valley Forge deer culling, Philly.com, Dec 18, 2015 The National Park Service said that although the deer population has been reduced to the target level of 185 – down from 1,277 when the shootings started in 2010 – culling still is needed to maintain density. It said deer-population control is critical to plant life that sustains other species in the park.
The program does not have an end date. That would depend on coming up with a “nonlethal” means of controlling deer, such as a practical and acceptable contraceptive.
Some City Parks To Close Overnight For Deer Control Efforts, CBS Philly, Dec 6, 2015Debaradinis says the overpopulation of deer harms the park’s environment because the animals eat tender plants that are important to the ecosystem.
Mass. woman cited in disputed deer cull in Mt. Lebanon, TribLive, Nov 18, 2015Amy Castor, 52, of Cambridge, Mass., is cited with interference with lawful hunting and defiant trespass, according to court records and Mt. Lebanon police. Castor is scheduled to appear before District Judge Blaise Larotonda on Dec. 3.
Troopers urge deer caution after fatal I-81 crash, ABC27 News, Nov 9, 2015Three people were killed after their car was hit from behind near Chambersburg. Police said the Nissan became disabled on the roadway when it struck a deer. “The Nissan Sentra burst into flames, caught on fire, and was pushed into the median, and all occupants of the vehicle were killed,” Trooper Rob Hicks said.
Mt. Lebanon to allow sharpshooting to cull deer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct 14, 2015The emerging multifaceted deer-management program is intended to reduce deer-vehicle collisions on Mt. Lebanon streets by 50 percent in five years. “Deer are an important host for ticks that carry Lyme disease. In Allegheny County there were 850 cases last year, and [about 200] cases the year before,” said Michalina Pendzich of Longuevue Drive, citing research conducted in part by Tom Simmons, a biology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “Archery alone will not adequately reduce the size of the deer herd. I urge [commissioners] to vote to include sharpshooting as part of our deer management program.”
Mt. Lebanon approves sharpshooters for deer, TribLive, Oct 13, 2015 Mt. Lebanon will pay White Buffalo, Inc. a fee of $451 per deer killed. The municipality wants to kill 150 deer with sharpshooting, which would put the cost at $80,750, including a $13,080 fee for the company.
Sharpshooting will be allowed from Feb. 1 to March 31 — right after the current archery program ends
Details of Mt. Lebanon deer hunting remain private by law, Pittsburgh Gazette, Oct 4, 2015Citing statistical evidence of increasing deer-vehicle collisions, Mt. Lebanon commissioners set a goal of reducing those traffic accidents by 50 percent in five years. In September they voted to pay $15,460 to nonprofit wildlife management organization White Buffalo to organize a controlled archery hunt to help reduce the municipality’s deer density. In a controlled hunt, vetted participants pay for their own equipment and licenses, and are bound by all relevant state hunting laws, Game Commission regulations and private property restrictions, but their hunting activities are organized and coordinated.
Mt. Lebanon to continue seeking sharpshooting proposals to lower deer population, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Oct 2, 2015Mt. Lebanon commissioners on Monday said they would continue to seek proposals for sharpshooters to reduce the town’s deer population.
Federal employees to shoot deer at Gettysburg parks, The Evening Sun, Sept 30, 2015In October, the National Park Service will continue its efforts to keep the deer population under control at the Gettysburg battlefields.
Federal employees will shoot and kill deer at the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site as part of the deer-management program, according to a news release from the National Park Service. The program helps preserve land that can be damaged by deer, the release states.
“We continue to manage white-tailed deer at Gettysburg and Eisenhower parks in order to control the damage they do to historic woodlots and farm fields,” said Ed Clark, park superintendent, in the release.
Whitehall residents turn out to discuss possible solutions to growing problem, TribLive, Sept 15, 2015 Residents who took the survey were split on the method they thought was acceptable to reduce the number of deer.
At the meeting, representatives from the Humane Society of the United States and Pennsylvania Game Commission shared differing views of how local municipalities can tackle the problem.
Residents also heard from a Lyme disease expert and former Murrysville parks and recreation director, who talked about the successes of the town’s controlled-hunting program
Mt. Lebanon pursues deer sterilization, The Almanac.net, Sept 10, 2015Along with an imminent archery hunt and the possibility of using sharpshooters, Mt. Lebanon is investigating nonlethal means of lowering the number of deer locally.
Mt. Lebanon Commissioners Approve 2 Methods For Deer Culling, CBS Pittsburgh, Sept 8, 2015On Tuesday night, the Mount Lebanon Board of Commissioners voted on a plan to try to cull the deer herds in an effort to reduce deer-vehicle accidents.
An archery program passed 4-1, a sharpshooter program passed 3-2, and a sterilization plan is also being pursued, but state approval is needed before that plan can go any further. Commissioners first heard from a Humane Society official who recommended sterilizing female deer through surgical procedures.
Deer reduction redux: Mt. Lebanon tries managed archery to remove deer, Pittsburgh-Gazette, Aug 23, 2015“I don’t know what to do,” she said, sniffling. “They’re all over my yard every day. There’s feces everywhere and I’m worried about disease and ticks. I can’t let the dog out. I love my home — we’ve been here for 30 years — but we’re thinking about moving.”
Coroner: Deer caused fatal crash in West Pennsboro, ABC27, Aug 5, 2015An 84-year-old Newburg woman died after a deer crashed through her vehicle’s windshield in West Pennsboro Township, according to the Cumberland County coroner.
Pet Tales: Dealing with deer .. and what they leave behind, Pitsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug 1, 2015The residents and elected officials of Mt. Lebanon have come under fire from animal rights activists because “we” have decided that the deer population has burgeoned out of control and the herd must be thinned. Out-of-town protesters scoff at residents’ complaints about what the deer leave behind — feces, big piles of it. Some people find five or six piles every day. It’s not just the smell. People worry about dogs that love to eat it. So I sought advice from experts.
“That’s a totally valid question,” said Justin Brown, wildlife veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management. “I think there are unresolved issues, and more research may be needed.” Feces generally contain bacteria, including E. coli, “some strains more serious than others,” he said. “I really don’t see a huge problem” if dogs eat feces, although they might get diarrhea.
Mt. Lebanon approves archery hunt to control deer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 14, 2015Municipal planner Keith McGill reminded commissioners— the need to remove about 150 does to reduce deer-vehicle collisions by 50 percent in five years. He said other nearby communities had reduced deer populations using a combination of volunteer archers and paid sharpshooters. The nonprofit organization White Buffalo has now been contracted to receive $15,460 to recruit volunteer archers, and organize and supervise the hunt. Unlike a cull, which requires special permitting, participants in the hunt will follow state regulations, including observation of a 50-yard “safety zone” surrounding homes.
Mr. McGill noted that the archery program, which is expected to remove about 100 deer, is far less expensive than a USDA sharpshooter program, which was estimated to cost $89,000. Sterilization would cost $1,000 per deer, and 95 percent of the does would have to be operated on at a total cost estimated at about $285,000.
Mt. Lebanon officials revisit talk about deer control methods, TribLive, June 22, 2015 The speakers also tried to dispel what they called myths surrounding deer management: Fleegel said the “rebound effect” — in which culling opponents warned that killing deer would leave more habitat and encourage surviving deer to breed more — would not occur in Mt. Lebanon because the population was eating and breeding as fast as it biologically could.
Migration of deer from neighboring communities that did not cull would not be a problem because female deer tend to stick to a limited range, close to where they are born, DeNicola said.
Mt. Lebanon to tackle deer problem again, Pittsburgh Gazette, June 21, 2015Three months after Mt. Lebanon residents split over how to handle an exploding deer population, municipal commissioners are back in the deer management business, starting with a meeting of deer experts on Monday. And while some residents questioned how many deer actually lived in Mt. Lebanon in March, there are a lot more deer now. Nearly all whitetail does at least 1 year old are impregnated each fall, and in the spring each bears one to three fawns. Sightings of small spotted deer have been reported all over town.
“I think, yes, there is a deer problem. The goal is to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by deer by 50 percent. Sterilization and some other things that have been discussed will not cut the deer population now. … We have all the information we need. It seems to me there is only one alternative and it’s to cull the herd.” Ms. Vuono says she loves animals, but she loves her town more.
Deer control expert to Mt. Lebanon says culling still a possibility, Triblive.com, May 30, 2015 To control its deer population with surgical sterilization, Mt. Lebanon would need to spend more money and treat more deer than six communities have, a consultant working with the municipality says.
DeNicola recently sterilized about 300 deer in three states. He estimates Mt. Lebanon would have to catch and treat just as many to lower its population without killing animals. If he cannot sterilize that many, he would need to include lethal culling to meet the municipality’s goals, he said.
“(Mt. Lebanon) would need to sterilize well over 90 percent of the females. … You could need $250,000 to $300,000 to do that,” DeNicola said. “To capture 300 animals is a very substantial undertaking.”
Diseased deer: Half-dozen more deer found with chronic wasting disease in Pennsylvania, PennLive.com, May 8, 2015For the 2015-16 hunting season, the commission again will issue special permits for taking antlerless deer within DMA 2 to reduce deer density in proximity to the disease in free-ranging deer.
CWD is not known to spread to humans, but some similar diseases have accomplished that jump.
Pa. expands deer CWD disease area, WITF, May 6, 2015Six deer killed on Pennsylvania highways tested positive for chronic wasting disease in 2014 and so far this year.
Philadelphia lifts park winter curfew, Montgomery Media, April 7, 2015According to the PPR, the program was conducted on 14 nights over a 16-week period beginning in December 2014. The deer management program removed a total of 165 deer, the majority coming from Pennypack Park in the Northeast (68); the second most came from the Wissahickon Valley (33). More than 4,000 pounds of venison was distributed through local food banks to feed needy people in the Philadelphia area.
Other towns also face deer dilemmas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 5, 2015Activists opposed to the municipality’s plan to kill enough deer to decrease deer-car collisions by 50 percent in five years are still celebrating their victory. But elsewhere in Allegheny County, white-tailed deer populations continue to grow unchecked, and Game Commission biologists, conservationists, homeowners and motorists wonder which community will be Ground Zero in the next urban deer war. If protesters think Mt. Lebanon is done with its deer debate, they’re wrong. About 200 pregnant does are expected to deliver 300 or more additional deer to Mt. Lebanon in the coming months.
Though plentiful, coyotes unlikely to ease Mt. Lebanon’s deer population, TribLive.com, March 25, 2015 Although young deer can be part of their diet, coyotes alone won’t suppress deer populations in urban and suburban areas, said Duane Diefenbach, director of Penn State University’s Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. “There are so many food resources available that coyotes do not need to depend on deer to survive,” Diefenbach said. “Coyotes prey primarily on fawns, so once a deer survives to about 6 to 8 months of age, its probability of dying from coyote predation is very low — not zero, but low.”
Vanished predators and tasty yards: How humans made a ‘deer nirvana’, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 22, 2015
In 2010, a mountain lion showed up on a trail camera near Bloomington, Ind. In 2011, a nature reserve near Canton, Ohio, had to be closed temporarily due to numerous reports of a mountain lion in the area.
Black bears, which are also predators to deer, continue to live in Pennsylvania, and are found in Allegheny County, but not enough to help bring down the deer census. Black bears and bobcats, gone from Ohio by about 1850, both have returned to the state in limited numbers over the past four decades. Research in Colorado indicates that black bear densities are increasing in the suburbs around Denver as deer numbers in those same areas rise. Around Pittsburgh, bobcats occasionally are found in suburban areas, including, most recently, in Upper St. Clair, said Mr. Cooley, the Mt. Lebanon animal control officer. But, like black bear, the numbers of bobcat are not high enough to impact the deer population.
Finding a ‘palatable answer’ to deer overpopulation, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 15, 2015Fox Chapel police use noise-suppressed rifles to kill deer in the municipality and on Audubon property, and specific numbers of does are taken in controlled hunts by vetted archers during deer seasons. Non-lethal measures, he suggested, range from impractical to impossible. “Hysterectomy is not an easy thing to do on deer. Catch and release — too many die from stress, there’s the danger of spreading diseases and the expense is high,” he said.
“Sterility or contraceptive drugs require yearly booster shots, which you can’t do on wild deer. Our research says it doesn’t necessarily reduce the number of deer. And anyway, those drugs are not approved for use [in the wild] anywhere in the country.”
Mt. Lebanon deer cull begins, drawing passionate response from both sides, Pittsburgh’s Action News, March 13, 2015“Sitting in my family room with the door open, looking up and seeing a buck standing on my patio, looking through my screen door — talk about scary,” Billie Gerard said.
“We don’t let people destroy each other’s property, so why do I — and we as a community — have to tolerate the destruction from deer?” Michalina Pendzich said.
Mt. Lebanon officials said the cull has been approved and will continue until the end of March. Council members said they will work on educating people not to feed deer.
Municipalities eye joint effort to control deer, TribLive, March 7, 2015As Mt. Lebanon struggles to get its controversial deer-culling program under way this month, its neighbors in Upper St. Clair were finishing their 10th consecutive season of culling with sharpshooters, and archers in Bethel Park, Fox Chapel, Pleasant Hills and Allegheny County’s parks had finished their season in late January.
But several area officials don’t think such a piecemeal approach will work to keep deer from being a nuisance to drivers and gardeners, so they’re pressing for cooperation among communities to study the problem and recommend lethal and nonlethal solutions.
Deer Cull Program in Pa. Suburb Draws Protesters, NBC10.com, March 1, 2015More than two dozen protesters took to the streets Saturday afternoon in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon to oppose the plan to bait, corral and kill deer. Mount Lebanon commissioners recently voted to spend up to $75,000 per year on the management program. Officials expect about 150 deer to be killed by the end of the month. The Pennsylvania Game Commission approved the plan.
Cull Protesters Demonstrate In Mt. Lebanon, CBS Pittsburgh, Feb 28, 2015Proponents of controlling the deer population submitted their own petition signatures – around 1,400 of them – asking that something be done, without specifying what. Among their concerns were Lyme disease and accidents.
Mt. Lebanon tweaks deer-culling plans, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Feb 28, 2015Mt. Lebanon commissioners Monday night said federal laws prohibit the culling of deer within 1,000 feet of schools, forcing three bait-and-trap sites to be re-evaluated, while a private location was added and a second is being considered.
Deer are menacing our neighborhood, Pittsburgh Gazette, Feb 18, 2015It is also unfortunate that we can no longer feed the birds, another noble species, because the deer trample my feeders and empty them both day and night. Add to this the ongoing damage they do to vegetation. My house was surrounded by what were beautiful shrubs; some of them have been there for 60 years. They are now like sticks.
On any day, I have between eight and 12 deer bedding down in either my front-, side- or backyard. They defecate throughout my yard, which is unpleasant in any case, but worse in that I have three dogs who sometimes view the droppings as a delicacy, resulting in visits to the vet for parasites.
Trap-and-Euthanize Deer Cull to Begin in Mt. Lebanon, WEMA, Feb 9, 2015So far, six people have been injured in car accidents involving deer in the last four years, including two instances where drivers swerved to miss a deer and ended up flipping their vehicles. A column on the chart titled “person killed” is still void of any marks, and Linfante said they aim to keep it that way. She said their goal is to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by deer by 50 percent in the next 3-5 years.
Mt. Lebanon approves trap-and-euthanize deer cull, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan 29, 2015Commissioners have addressed deer management with the stated goal of reducing vehicle collisions involving the animals by 50 percent over the next three to five years. Trapping and euthanizing deer is one of three population-reduction measures the municipality is attempting to implement. An archery hunt planned for December and January did not take place because of issues with a limited number of antlerless deer permits available through the Game Commission.
Dung, deer & legislative, TribLive, Jan 17, 2015 Community “leaders,” egged on by the tyranny of an ignorant minority, have dickered, dithered and elevated “dumb” to new lows for years on the issue of culling the exploding herd. So shocking have been the machinations — installing deer crossing signs and publishing police tutorials on the proper way to run over deer, to name two — that one neighborhood reportedly decided to undertake a private and perfectly legal cull.
The vet suspects she picked up some kind of infection from all the deer excrement.
Controversial Plan to Manage Deer Population, WNEP 16, Jan 6, 2015The Hideout has more than 3,000 homes. There are approximately 580 deer inside the community, according to a three-day USDA study done last year. Now the general manager said that number has to come down. The Hideout is requesting 300 tags from the PA Game Commission along with a permit to cull the deer population, but not everyone agrees.
Newly planted urban forests can easily succumb to disease, Pittsburgh Gazette, January 4, 2015Losing trees and having to replant can quickly become expensive, with the average cost of a single hardwood sapling $350 to $450, not counting the cost of the labor to cut down and remove the dead tree and replant the new one, Morton said. Conversely, a healthy, mature planetree in a Pittsburgh business district can save the city and local businesses $240 a year in reduced need for heating and cooling, reduced storm water runoff, improved air quality and increased property value. The discovery of reduced genetic diversity in the nation’s urban tree population is “alarming,” said Phil Gruszka, an urban arborist at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and a co-author of the Schenley Plaza planetree study. The number of invasive species and diseases is increasing, even as the trees’ ability to resist them weakens.
Mt. Lebanon deer culling effort gets OK, TribLive, Dec 10, 2014 Bow hunters will be out during daylight hours, using tagged and numbered arrows. They must track wounded deer until the animal dies. Hunters will be drawn from municipal employees to start the program as soon as possible but won’t be on the clock. The only cost to Mt. Lebanon, McDonough said, will be buying targets for the certification process and paying fees for hunters who wish to donate their deer meat to local food banks.
While Mt. Lebanon pursues three programs, experts at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., are abandoning an on-campus deer sterilization program after seven years and deer trapping/euthanasia in favor of a program that relies exclusively on bow hunters. Deer were overrunning the central campus, destroying agricultural research and stripping trees of foliage. Cornell started a program in 2007 to capture, tranquilize and sterilize female deer while hunting deer on university-owned property just outside the main campus, said Paul Curtis, professor of natural resources and extension wildlife specialist. But after seven years of sterilization, Cornell had about the same number of deer on campus, because clamping or cutting does’ fallopian tubes didn’t prevent heat. That brought more bucks to campus, Curtis said.
Archers in Shaler parks aim to keep deer population under control, TribLive, Dec 10, 2014For the past seven years, Shaler’s controlled deer hunt has allowed bowhunters to hunt in the township’s five parks throughout the state’s archery season, said Shaler police officer Kevin Kerin, the township’s controlled-hunt coordinator.
Deer herd way down, but Valley Forge continues culling, philly.com, Dec 4, 2014To the chagrin of some animal-rights activists, the herd has been reduced by about 80 percent since the culling operation began, the park says – from 1,227 in 2009, or 241 deer per square mile, to about 250, 49 per square mile.
The park says the comeback of some of the vegetation that had been decimated by the deer population speaks to the merits of the program but adds that more culling is necessary for the sake of the plant life.
Panel offers ways to reduce deer population in North Park, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov 26, 2014“Overabundant deer change the nature of invasive species,” said Ms. Kalisz, who led a research team beginning in 2003 at the Trillium Trail Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel. The study concludes that an overpopulation of deer is the primary reason garlic mustard is crowding out native plants, including trillium — a favorite food for deer.
Susan Kalisz, professor of evolutionary ecology for the University of Pittsburgh, talked about habitat degradation.
Urban forester Brian Wolyniak of Penn State Extension Service explained that ticks are another concern for residents who have deer in their yards. Deer aren’t susceptible to Lyme disease, but they do provide ticks with a place to mate. “Deer ticks are one of the best arguments we can make for asking our municipalities to control the deer population.”
Mt. Lebanon golf course to host archers in deer cull, The Almanac, Nov 25, 2014Mt. Lebanon will likely open its municipal golf course to archers as part of its deer management program, according to discussion at the Nov. 24 commission meeting. Other parks may also play host to bow hunters, including McNeilly and Robb Hollow.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission insists municipalities include ongoing hunting programs in their deer management plans.
Mt. Lebanon approves archery, trapping to cull deer population, TribLive.com, Nov. 24, 2014 The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the plan, prepared by consultant J. Merlin Benner of Wildlife Specialists in Wellsboro, Tioga County, which calls for culling as many as 200 deer per year at a cost of up to $80,000 until the vehicle collision goal has been reached, then move into a “stabilization and maintenance phase” of culling about 100 per year.
Mt. Lebanon commissioners take steps toward deer management, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Nov 20, 2014An archery cull would involve minimal cost to the municipality, Mr. Fujak explained, as hunters incur most of the expenses.
Trapping and euthanizing could cost $300 to $600 per deer taken, and surgical sterilization is estimated at $800 to $1,000 per animal, according to Wildlife Specialists. Sterilization has been employed sporadically in several states but never has been granted a game commission permit in Pennsylvania.
2 more controlled deer hunts set Ridley Creek State Park, Daily News, Nov 18, 2014“An overpopulation of a single living species can be a serious detriment to the natural environment,” said Ridley Creek State Park Manager Mike Kutzmonich. “Here at Ridley Creek we have an overabundance of deer that can reduce the diversity of species, both plant and animal.
First week of Pleasant Hills Arboretum hunt yields 7 deer, TribLive, Nov 5, 2014
Gary Fujak, wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, has said using archers were the best way to control deer populations.
“Sterilization is manpower-intensive and very expensive,” Fujak said, “and it takes years to reduce the deer population.”
In a good year, on average, a doe may produce 1.75 fawns, he said.
Local Community Finds Success In Curbing Deer Population, CBS Pittsburg, Oct 31, 2014They may be cute grazing in your backyard, but when deer vehicle accidents topped 200 in the 10 square miles of Upper St. Clair in 2004, they said enough is enough.
Mt. Lebo group wants deer population control, WPXI.com News, Oct 28, 2014A group calling itself “The Lebo Residents for Effective Deer Management” has organized in an attempt to control the growing deer population in the area. According to Mount Lebanon’s website, the deer population in the area has caused 42 accidents this year, causing four people to be injured. “Something needs to be done. It’s too congested of an area,” said resident Pat Kyne.
Township leaders are going to the game commission with three options: shooting, sterilization or euthanasia.
Rose Valley deer hunt to be later and shorter this year, Delaware County News Network, Oct 28, 2014With the number of white tails reduced to manageable levels, Rose Valley’s deer hunt will again be one of maintenance. That maintenance will just begin a little later and be a little shorter.
Mt. Lebanon consultant says sterilization, culling should go in tandem to control deer population, TribLive, Sept 25, 2014
Simply sterilizing Mt. Lebanon’s deer population won’t reduce collisions with vehicles unless it’s combined with a program to shoot deer, a consultant told the board of commissioners on Monday.
Rabid Deer Found, CentralPA.com, Aug 8, 2014A white-tailed deer has tested positive for rabies.
The Department of Health says the deer was found in Empire Court Trailer Park in Centre Hall. The department urges anyone who may have been bitten or exposed to saliva, fluids or tissue from the deer to call Centre County State Health Center.
Radnor BOC deems winter deer cull a success, MainlineMediaNews, July 15, 2014The goal is to get the deer population down to 20 deer per square mile, he said. This coming winter, he would like to gain access to more private property, Radnor Township School District land and township parks. In addition to the USDA sharpshooters, the township will continue to work with the bow hunting clubs.
Nuisance deer in the spotlight in Bethlehem, timesunion.com, June 11, 2014The Connecticut town of Ridgefield is a decade ahead of Bethlehem. Townspeople there started a committee in 2004.
“Ridgefield was the No. 1 town in the state of Connecticut for vehicle/deer accidents, Lyme disease, the over-browsing of open spaces and a number of other problems associated with overpopulation of white-tailed deer,” said Tom Belote, chairman of the committee.
Controversial deer kill thins Valley Forge herd, Philly.com, June 9, 2014
Researchers assess strategies to control growing urban deer population, TribLive (Pittsburgh), Aug 3, 2014
Radnor BOC deems winter deer cull a success, Mainline Media News, July 15, 2014
Deer cull planned in Saw Creek has worked in Hemlock Farms, Pocono Record, Jan 19, 2014 The cull started in 2005 and continued until 2011. At the time, there were more than 100 deer per forested square mile. Hemlock Farms has five square miles of forested land and aimed to get the population down to 10 deer per square mile.
Culling Local Deer , SLAMedia, Jan 3, 2014An annual deer hunting season every autumn has helped control the populations in rural parts of the state, but what about in urban areas, like the city of Philadelphia? Hunting is illegal in the city, and as a result the deer populations in areas like fairmount park, Valley Forge, Pennypack park, and other places have gotten out of control. So these parks decided to have a deer cull.
Pittsburgh’s suburbs a perfect sanctuary for deer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov 14, 2013Unchecked, deer density doubles every two years, and deer-related problems abound. Forest regeneration stops, agricultural and landscape damage increases and humans risk contracting Lyme disease carried by deer-borne ticks. State Farm insurance reported about 115,000 deer-car collisions in Pennsylvania last year, causing nearly $400 million in damage. Fourteen people died and 1,352 were injured in deer-related traffic accidents.
Wissahickon deer kill continues as opposition wanes, Chestnut Hill Local, March 16, 2011Thirteen years and more than 2,000 culled deer later, the Fairmount Park Commission, Wildlife Services, and Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) still deem the cull necessary to preserve the park’s ecosystem. But public advocacy for the deer has waned considerably.
Deer Hunt Comes to Philly, NBC 10.com, Jan 25, 2011This isn’t the first time park officials have called for a deer hunt. Back in 2008 153 deer were killed during a five-week hunt.
Deer hunters quietly active in city Armed only with bows and arrows, they help Philadelphia and residents control the herd. They get venison in return., Philly.com, Jan 13, 2003 The archers – who must pass Burton’s marksman tests and aim down toward the ground from tree stands even though they are not allowed to hunt while the center is open – seem to be making a difference: “There’s some tulip regeneration. Some oak and hickory starting to get a foothold.”