Over the next couple of months, the deer population in Sioux Falls will be deliberately reduced in the interest of safety and herd health. It continues a program that now enters its fifth year.

Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong says the objectives for diminishing the herd are simple.

“It’s to reduce property damage, car-deer collisions, and to help provide a safer living environment for the deer themselves. When deer live in high concentrations, there’s a potential for the spread of disease. We’re hoping to cut down on some of that potential.”

More to the point of avoiding collisions with vehicles, DeJong has noted certain problem areas within city limits.

“We’ve seen increases south of Interstate 229 on Minnesota Avenue, Cliff Avenue, and Southeastern Avenue. We’ve also seen more deer struck and killed or being in accidents on 60th Street North.”

DeJong says the park system has seen an uptick of deer sightings as well, especially in Sertoma, Tomar and Tuthill Parks.

The deer harvest will begin on December 26 and conclude on February 28, 2019. This special hunting season could end sooner if 60 deer are taken before the cutoff date.

Only Sioux Falls Police and Animal Control authorized personnel will take part in this operation which also has the approval of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks.

Meat from the deer will then be donated to area food banks with over 5,000 pounds given to the needy through the first four years of the effort.

 

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