Should Your City Offer Urban Deer Hunting?

The impact of white-tailed deer within urban communities is a growing problem nationwide, including in several Indiana communities.

Managing the problem can become controversial.

To help local communities better understand deer and available management options, the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife has put together an online booklet — the Urban Deer Technical Guide.

“The Urban Deer guide was developed to support communities that struggle with urban deer conflicts,” said Chad Stewart, DNR’s deer management biologist. “Very few topics can be as polarizing as dealing with white-tailed deer in an urban setting. How to resolve these conflicts can cause elected officials many sleepless nights.”

The 32-page booklet explores how overabundant deer can impact deer-human interaction, cause ecological damage, and present health issues for humans. It addresses the pros and cons of both lethal and non-lethal management options.

The booklet outlines considerations for developing a successful deer management program and how to set up a monitoring program to assess results.

Several examples of special deer reduction programs are cited.

“There’s a lot of great biological information, details on options available to communities, and case studies from here in Indiana,” Stewart said. “If a community is facing this issue but not sure where to begin, this is a great first place to start.”

Go to dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/7477.htm and locate the Urban Deer Technical Guide link.

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