City Of Rock Island Talks Deer Population Problem - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

City Of Rock Island Talks Deer Population Problem

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Public hunting in the City of Rock Island? That's just one of three options the City Council will begin looking at to control the deer population.

Among the weights and the TVs, people exercising at the Rock Island Fitness Center often see another sight, a parade of deer right outside their windows.

"More often in the winter, I speculate that they eat somewhere else in the summertime maybe in people's yards," says Frank Lyon.

He sees four deer outside the fitness about three times a week. He sees another eight at his house.

"They don't bother my yard very much that, just seems to be the place they march through and look around, waggle their tails, and move on. Either that or they don't like the plants that I have in my yard."

The state wildlife biologist for our area says in a rural area about 35 to 40 deer per square mile is a good number, but an urban area needs only 10 to15.

"They should have deer season all year long," says Calvary Cemetery Grounds Crew Member Joseph Seitz.

His suggestion resembles the city's three main options: have a public archery season in city limits, or have sharpshooters, either police or contractors, harvest deer.

"They chew everything, they eat all of our flowers we plant, they keep eating on our trees they're just like locusts around here," says Seitz.

City staffers believe a public archery hunt would be cheapest. The city could organize the hunt with strict rules, trying to safely cut down the number of deer roaming the city. 

"I hear a lot of people do have a problem with them eating in their gardens," says Lyon.

A problem hunting may ease.

The city hopes to have a solution in place before this fall's deer hunting season begins.

Some council members and members of the public raised concerns that the only options involved killing the deer.
They said they'd like to see deer moved elsewhere.


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