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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  A possible deer management plan for Rochester will be up for discussion at the city Park Board meeting next Tuesday.

Staff will seek feedback from the board on a plan that could include killing deer “through managed hunts on park property” as one way to control the local population.

The department says there has been an increase in “deer conflicts” in recent years that include “vehicle collisions and destruction of trees, turf, and landscaping on public and private property.”

Deer on the edge of the road just before vehicle
photo by Pascal-L-Marius

Staff reached out to the Minnesota DNR and was given these recommendations:

  • Develop a citywide deer management plan.
  • Work towards the 2014 DNR goal of 10 deer per square mile. This goal will likely be revisited by DNR in 2022-2023.
  • Develop an enforceable no-feeding ordinance.
  • If approved by the Park Board and Council, establish culling activities using sharpshooters and/or bow-hunters.
  • Review contraceptive methods. This is expensive and proven to be less effective but should be part of the discussion for the benefit of those who oppose 

According to a memo to the Park Board, staff says it will “continue to pursue a volunteer-led initiative in order to keep costs to a minimum. Contracted services will also be considered. A staff-led program would require additional funding to ensure proper oversight of any culling activities.

Staff says a citywide deer management plan will be presented to the Park Board and City Council for feedback and approval next spring. It is anticipated that recommendations outlined in the plan could be implemented in the fall of 2022.

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