Feds Begin Deer Culling Program in Syracuse, New York

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

The meat will be donated to homeless shelters

Syracuse's deer population is out of control, and federal wildlife officials are doing something about it. 

According to Syracuse.com, a deer-management program began this week, which involves bringing in professional sharpshooters to kill deer at night in predetermined, remote parts of the city.

Earlier this year, Mayor Ben Walsh appointed a task force, which developed the plan. The Common Council authorized the shooters and approved $55,000 to pay them in October.

According to an information sheet released by Walsh's offices that outlines the deer program's basic details, trained professionals from the United States Department of Agriculture will establish bait traps for deer. After several weeks, sharpshooters will be deployed only at night to take out deer feeding at those traps.

The sharpshooters will use noise suppressors and will remove the deer carcasses before dawn. The butchered deer meat will be donated to local homeless shelters.

The city has identified sites on the east, west and south sides of the city that are either city property or private land where the owner has given permission. All culling sites are at least 300 feet from a road and 500 feet from a residence. 

City officials aren't revealing the site locations in an effort to avoiding problems with those who may try to interfere with the sharpshooters’ work. Syracuse police are aware of the sites and the cull times. All sites are closed to the public at night.

Culling will continue through March 2020.

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