Waupaca seeks to control urban deer
By Angie Landsverk
Waupaca’s Deer Management Ad Hoc Committee recommended the city decrease its urban deer population with a managed bow hunt.
When the committee met on Monday, Feb. 13, it unanimously agreed to take that recommendation and six others to the Waupaca Common Council.
Committee member Chuck Whitman was absent.
Ald. Alan Kjelland, chair of the ad hoc committee, will present the recommendations during the council’s Wednesday, Feb. 22 meeting.
The meeting is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.
The council is meeting on Feb. 22 because there is a primary election on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
“I think the recommendation should allude to the program Wisconsin Rapids has in place,” Kjelland said.
He was referring to the Multi-Metro Deer Management Group.
Formed in 2004, the Marathon County group includes the communities of Wisconsin Rapids, Grand Rapids, Biron and Port Edwards.
Dan Hobbs, the manager of that program, attended the ad hoc committee’s Jan. 23 meeting and explained the program.
During Monday’s ad hoc committee meeting, members discussed how a managed bow hunt program should be implemented here.
Committee member Judith Shwonek said the committee did what it was assigned to do by determining there is a problem with the size of the deer herd in the city.
How a managed bow hunt program should be developed in the city would be the function of a new committee, she said.
Kjelland agreed with that sentiment.
The ad hoc committee was to do the fact gathering and come up with a recommendation, he said.
The committee made seven recommendations. They are:
• Develop a management program to control the herd size and locations, based on its conclusion that that there is a deer herd issue in the city.
• Note there are adequate laws and regulations in place related to the feeding of deer and the ability to bow hunt in the city during the regular archery season and so no new local ordinances or regulations are needed.
• Focus on the enforcement of the prohibition of feeding deer in the city.
• Develop a public education campaign to educate city residents about the impacts of an unrestrained deer herd here and the prohibition against feeding deer.
The fine for feeding deer in the city is $250. Bird feeders are not to be placed less than six feet off the ground.
• Pursue more study of the five diseases that may be transmitted from deer to humans.
• Implement a managed bow hunt program that is similar to the Multi-Metro Deer Management Group’s program.
• Hold a public information or hearing or review the recommendations with the community and receive public comment before the common council takes final action on the recommendations.