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The evolution of an Urban deer-management program through 15 years


  • Associate Editor: Nielsen


The Borough of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, USA implemented an urban deer-management program in 1993 consisting of archery hunting, sharpshooting by police officers, and trapping and euthanasia. Over the following 15 years, 2,980 deer were removed using these methods with most (68%) being harvested by archery hunters. However, over the duration of the program the number of bowhunters and number of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) harvested by bowhunters declined, resulting in greater reliance on police sharpshooting to compensate for the lower harvest by archery hunters. Beginning in 2003, the number of deer removed by police sharpshooters exceeded that removed by archery hunters. The combined deer-management program has been successful in reducing the negative impacts of overabundant deer as measured by the number of deer–vehicle collisions, which declined from 81 in 1993 to a 15-year low of 19 in 2007, potentially saving residents some US$ 1.6 million in vehicle repair costs. Although leadership within the Borough changed over time, the primary goals of the deer population management program were sustained. Urban communities entering into a deer management program should craft a program that has built-in flexibility and be prepared to allow the program to evolve over time as conditions change. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.