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Sioux Falls' Deer Management Plan

August 27, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Sioux Falls' Deer Management Plan
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The City of Sioux Falls wants to do a better job of managing the deer population within city limits. Part of its plan could be to allow police officers to shoot them.

The City estimates deer caused close to $200,000 in car damage last year. But before the City does anything, it wants to hear from you.

You can find deer within Sioux Falls' city limits just about on any given night. Some people enjoy them; others see deer as pests.

"We know they are bedding there, we don't know if it's the same deer there all year long or if the deer move in and out," Julie DeJong of the Game Fish and Parks Department said.

The city doesn't know exactly how many deer live within the city limits. It took a count last June in south Sioux Falls. 

"We counted 32 deer one day in that area, then the next day we counted 42," Sioux Falls Chief of Police Doug Barthel said.

With the help of GF & P, the city has come up with a three part plan to better manage the deer population in the southern part of the city.

The first idea would be to implement a feeding ban.

"It's mainly to get after the people who are literally putting out piles of corn or feeders strictly for the deer," Police Chief Doug Barthel said.

Another idea would be to allow police officers to shoot some of the animals with high-powered rifles to thin the population.

"It's going to be done in a very controlled, very safe environment and we'll only do it if we know it's going to be safe," Barthel said. 

Before anything can happen, the city wants public input, mainly from those living in southern part of the city where lots of deer roam freely into parks and backyards.

"We have a responsibility to protect the safety of our people, as well as the property within the confines of our town," Mayor Mike Huether said.

The City is mailing our surveys to people living in southern Sioux Falls. There'll also be two public meetings scheduled for September 10 and September 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. Both will be held at the Game, Fish and Parks Department at the Outdoor Campus.

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