City officials begin to survey urban deer in the Helena area
Officers with the Helena Police Department are starting an 8 day process to survey urban deer in the Helena area this coming week.
Beartooth NBC’s Drew Steele spoke with Helena Mayor Jim Smith and city Police Chief Troy McGee to outline how the urban deer program started. Eight years ago the city of Helena devised a plan that would help lower the population of urban deer.
Smith says, "So I say we worked with citizens of Helena and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for about 5 years between 2003 and 2008."
During that period, with the help of FWP, a plan was made to find out first, where the deer were living within city limits.
Smith says, "Pretty much they want us to come to the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks once a year and they want to know how many deer we took last year. How many door are left in town and they want us to keep on top of that number."
Based on that number, Mayor Smith says they came to the conclusion there should ideally be 25 deer per square mile.
Between the months of December and March, the final step is to capture the allotted number of deer given by FWP and humanely put them down.
Helena Mayor Jim Smith says in 2008, they put down 50 deer. From 2009 to 2010 they put down nearly 200 deer. Last year, he says they captured around 100 deer.
Story by Drew Steele, Beartooth NBC.
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