Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bambi becoming problem for Montana capital

From Big Sky country, comes this story of a burgeoning deer population becoming a problem in Helena, Montana:
HELENA, Mont. — Brown-eyed does, muscular bucks, and an assortment of fawns and yearlings have had the run of residential neighborhoods in this capital city, many for several generations.

Having lost any discernible fear of people, the deer chase paper deliverers, jump from bushes to roofs, terrorize dogs and drivers, and gobble up expensive gardens and landscaping.

Many of the city’s estimated 700 deer live their entire lives here, having their offspring under residents’ porches and decks. If left to their own devices, biologists say, the number of deer will grow as high as 1,200 by 2010.

But the deer’s reign is coming to a close.

The Helena Police Department recently began a program intended to reduce the adult deer population by 50 — more if the first phase is successful. Officers bait large net traps, called clover traps, with apples, grain and molasses.

Adult deer caught in the traps are killed instantly with a bolt gun, similar to the device used to kill cows in slaughterhouses. The animals are then taken to a state Fish, Wildlife and Parks center, butchered and their meat donated to the needy.

Article here. Hey, maybe they need an "Urban Deer Season" added to the hunting calendar. :)

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