The concept of purging urban deer is not new, but every once in a while deer overpopulation prompts a call for action.  

Sioux Falls Police announced on Wednesday that South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks has issued a permit allowing the Sioux Falls Police Department to harvest up to 30 deer from southeast Sioux Falls. 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.  We first learned about this proposal last August.  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.

In response to the approval the Sioux Falls Police Department sent out a press release and Police Chief Doug Barthel expresses his confidence that the public’s good will be served.  “By harvesting deer in the area, we hope to limit the amount of property damage caused by deer, reduce the number of car – deer accidents, and improve the health of the overall deer population in Sioux Falls.”

The release goes on to say that deer will be harvested by Sioux Falls Police Officers who have completed additional training specific to deer removal. The meat from harvested deer will be donated to area food banks.

Safety for the public is a top priority when removing the deer. The deer will be discretely removed from remote areas so the public will not be in any danger during these events. The operation will be completed by February 15, 2015.