Ellisville Considers Killing Deer with Kindness, Or a Crossbow

The city council in Ellisville is discussing various measures related to the area's deer population.

Ellisville City Council members talked about several proposals dealing with the city's deer population at its , with outcomes ranging from permitting hunting within the city to possibly providing salt licks for the animals to enjoy.

“We have found in the past that there is about half the population who want to feed the deer, and the other half of the population want to eat them,” Mayor Matt Pirrello told residents.

Pirrello said traffic safety was a primary concern related to the deer population, with deer crossing Manchester and Clarkson roads accounting for a significant number of vehicle accidents.

Following the results of a formal study presented to council members in Town and Country earlier this summer, council members there may soon vote on a “” that would take effect in 2012. 

Pirrello said Chesterfield, Wildwood and Clarkson Valley already have permitted deer hunting within city limits.

“But they don’t have the density levels we do,” he said.

Council member Linda Reel said she wasn't opposed to permitting deer hunting. She did, however, suggest the council investigate birth control drugs that have been used to curb deer populations.

Pirrello said any proposals dealing with bow hunting or other "projectile" methods would raise legal issues. In addition to regulations under the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the city likely would encounter complications dealing with zoning if hunting was allowed.

“But if we pursue anything…we have a big liability issue on our hands and probably need to figure out a way to identify if that’s being done on private property,” Pirrello said.

Council member Troy Pieper said that previously, constituents seemed divided about the possibility of lethal force to control the deer population. However, recently that's changed, Pieper said, with more residents supporting efforts to decrease the number of deer.

“Of the people I’ve talked to that have called me or expressed concern, it's probably close to 60 percent, 70 percent, and it’s getting worse,” he said.

Pirrello said city staff would collect data from local cities with comparable densities that have participated in deer population control and report back to the Ellisville board. Pirrello said the city also should make efforts to invite a representative of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to address deer population issues with the council.

Suzanne Gundlach August 28, 2011 at 03:31 PM
I support spay/neuter options as well. Our street/neighborhood has too many people who are active outdoors, hunting simply isn't a safe option.
Ballwin Resident August 28, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Although spay/neuther/birth control would remove any risk of a "hunting" accident injurying people or property it would be a very costly program. The sheer amount of resources (money) needed to trap and "treat" the deer in order to make a difference might not fly well if it takes tax dollars away from other city programs. The huntiing option would cost little and could possibly generate income for the city through the sale of permits or tags to the hunters. The issue is how do you implement this program so as to decrease the risk of injury damage to others? Or, do you just leave the deer alone and let them be as the second poster said they were here first.
Lou Salamone August 28, 2011 at 10:05 PM
Called WILDlife for a reason, they don't resemble cats and dogs, not domesticated because they are WILD so stop trying to change everything just because Town&Country sterilized some. They set a terrible precedent because they think they can reinvent the wheel . Bow hunting works
Sandra Eskridge June 27, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Gosh--I'm glad were not all in the same room together. First, how about fencing in Klamberg and Bluebird. It would help the economy--fencing manufacturers, and give people jobs! I noticed a fenceline behind the deer in the picture off the highway. But I think it needs to be taller than that. I bet those hunters want to be paid something; I bet those bows and disappearing arrows cost something, but the liability risk will raise insurance rates and if you were all so worried about the injured woman on the parking lot, how are you going to feel when an arrow pierces a child, parent, or grandparent sitting on their back deck. Arrows are pretty silent--can't always duck out of the way or run inside when you here the rifles going off! Fencing and neutering seem a better option. OR YOU COULD BRING IN A COUGAR AND A FEW WOLVES INSIDE THE FENCED AREA--THERE'S YOUR FREE FOR ALL!!!


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