Sioux Falls Police anticipated that their deer harvesting operation was supposed to take about a month. Recent returns are putting the effort ahead of schedule.

Back in mid-January, Sioux Falls Police announced that South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks issued a permit allowing the Sioux Falls Police Department to harvest up to 30 deer from southeast Sioux Falls. The most recent tally from Sioux Falls Police shows that 28 of the 30 tags have been filled.

The permit was issued after a comprehensive study was completed on the deer population in southeast Sioux Falls. It was discovered that officers would see around 40 to 60 deer in various parks in southeast Sioux Falls. Also an online survey and two public meetings factored into the decision.

The survey and meetings found the majority of people in the area noticed an increase in the deer population and 57 percent supported the lethal removal of the deer. Meat from harvested deer will be donated to area food banks with the operation initially projected to be completed by February 15, 2015. It may close sooner than that.