North Hudson deer management gets closer to realityA long and arduous discussion on establishing a method to reduce the urban deer herd in North Hudson dominated a marathon Board of Trustee’s meeting last Tuesday
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
A long and arduous discussion on establishing a method to reduce the urban deer herd in North Hudson dominated a marathon Board of Trustee’s meeting last Tuesday.
An urban archery program that is the pet project of Trustee Jim Thomas was presented to the board. A few citizens also spoke who felt strongly that there are far too many of the animals feeding on precious landscape flora and smashing into automobiles.
“I’m of the belief that sharp shooters aren’t the answer,” said Thomas. “Urban archery is the best answer.”
With that he introduced Harvey Halvorson, DNR wildlife biologist from the Baldwin office, and Lon Feia, of River Valley Deer Management LLC and a bow hunter, to explain the deer population problem and archery program.
Halvorson said the 60M deer zone, which includes the village, is 200 percent over the desired per-square-mile population and is bordered by tremendous deer habitat.
With mild winters, Halvorson said, “We face a continued high deer population in North Hudson.”
The DNR biologist said a state grant is available for municipalities to help control the deer population.
Feia said his urban archery program would target antlerless deer and be conducted on private land during the fall season.
“Sharpshooting is less palatable to residents, and archery is about as effective,” Feia said. The program could be up and running for the 2009 season and would take out between 30 and 50 deer.
“The program would be run at no cost to the village,” Feia said. It would be apparently paid for by a user fee from the hunters who qualify for the program, which would include background checks and liability insurance.
In return, Feia’s organization would want the blessings of the village to file for a DNR grant that could offset the cost of the operation by $5,000 during the 2010 season.
Feia pointed out that the deer killed can be donated to a food shelf or once tagged given to residents. He warned, however, that the deer wouldn’t be delivered to villagers “in little white packages, but would be as a gutted, whole deer.”
Other benefits include the possibility of reducing both car-deer collisions in the village and the number of deer tick hosts.
Police Chief Mark Richert said a change in an ordinance that prohibited any shooting inside the village limits (including projectiles such as arrows) would have to be amended to allow permits for the hunters before the program started.
The discussion among trustees and the experts continued, heading down an occasional tangent here and there. It appeared that some members of the board couldn’t quite get their heads around the fact that the program wouldn’t cost the village anything.
Finally the board grasped the concept and approved the program by a unanimous 6-0 margin. The presentation even won over Sandra Whalen and Colleen O’Brien-Berglund, self-proclaimed “Bambi huggers.”