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CITY DEER HERD ANALYSIS 6-6-12 LMS

The results of a recent public opinion survey on the city’s deer population show there is clearly no consensus.

In his report to the June 6th meeting of the Salmon City Council, Councilman Ken Hill said, “Everybody has had a chance to look over the deer survey and has come to the absolute conclusion that nobody can come to an absolute conclusion.” He said survey results were split down the middle between wanting to get rid of the deer and wanting them to be left alone.

Hill said the bottom line is there is very little the Idaho Department of Fish and Game can do about the herd within legalities of state law and city ordinances against the discharge of firearms. He said the city should put some effort towards making sure people are not consciously feeding the deer thereby making the problem worse than it already is.

Councilman Jim Kluesner asked about the possibility of transporting the deer out of town and Hill quoted Fish and Game statistics that show trapping deer leads to about a thirty percent mortality rate for the animals and instances of injury to the trap personnel. Trapping is also very expensive and would have to be done only on city property. Hill said that unless the city goes to the extent of bringing in professional archers to lure deer onto city property and eliminate the animals, there is really nothing that can be done. An archery solution was used by Deer Lodge, Montana and the venison was then donated to local game processors for distribution to area food banks.

Hill said the best solution for this area appears to be enforcing a state law which prohibits the feeding of deer. Another suggestion was to build a higher fence around the garden and City Planner Dan Maiyo said there is actually a provision in city code that allows for higher fence heights when the purpose is to keep deer out of the property.


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