During the August 12th City Council meeting, the longest discussion was about managing the deer population in the city. Apparently, the city's "herd" has increased from 21 head in 1999 to 71 in 2009. Some of our neighbors have been complaining, although they were unnamed in the meeting (as usual), about "plant damage and vehicular accidents."
As an aside, this citizen complaint rumor tactic was used for justifying the "goose roundup" last year. It would seem that a reasonable accounting of the actual number of complaints, who made the complaints, and a minimal bit of evidence would be desirable if the city is going to spend money and take this kind of time out of a city council meeting to discuss these issues. Putting something like this on the agenda, because the "City Administrator reported that he has received a number of calls" is a pretty poor use of the city's time.
John Moriarty, a Natural Resources Manager for Ramsey County Parks, recommended "a sharp-shooter" at $350 a deer. I wonder if he can suggest someone who'd be willing to take a contract on deer for that kind of money? If we're going to pay a local hitman $350 a deer to get the numbers down to the 1999 herd size, we're going to be coughing up $17,500. That would buy a lot of deer repellent and if it turned out that the "number of complaints" was as sparse as the goose complaints, we'd probably have deer repellent in stock for a few decades. Oddly, Moriarty said "noted that if a deer is shot at and the shot misses, that deer becomes trained to avoid the area." Seems like some well-placed fireworks could chase the deer out of the complaining neighbors' yards, if that's the case. I particularly enjoyed the comment that a deer trailing blood and guts across the neighborhood would produce "disadvantages from the public perception standpoint."
John Sculley was on hand to complain about deer on his property, but said "the only ones who will hunt Sculley property are named 'Sculley.' Sculley indicated that his brother and nephew are bow hunters and capable of taking some deer on his property."
The deer hunting party was tabled for further consideration. In the meantime, look forward to the possibility of bow hunters and sharp-shooters in your neighborhood any day now.