Town and Country goes from management to maintenance as deer population shrinks

Town and Country goes from management to maintenance as deer population shrinks

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TOWN AND COUNTRY • This city's deer management program has worked well enough that state officials are authorizing the sharpshooting of fewer than half as many next year, the 10th consecutive season of the program.

This year, White Buffalo, the city's contracted agent, killed 361 deer on a $230,000 contract. The number allowed to be killed next year is 150. Consequently, the city's new contract with White Buffalo will cost about $83,000. 

Unanimous support is expected when the plan gets a final vote by the Board of Aldermen on Dec. 10.

"It's pretty much maintenance rather than management by now," City Administrator Bob Shelton said Monday night as the board discussed the plan.

The efficiency and safety of the program, as well as the resulting regular contributions of deer meat to charity, were noted in the recent analysis by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Town and Country has been the most active of several west St. Louis County communities where the deer population has been cited as a hazard to public safety. In prior years, the aldermen often heard protests from residents who said sharpshooting, as opposed to sterilization, was unnecessarily dangerous and inhumane. But the protests have waned in recent years.

Meanwhile, the city's effort to get deer management started in Queeny Park, which borders Town and Country but is under county control, has not drawn a response. "That's why we don't know how long Town and Country will have to have some program in place," Shelton said.

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