Unlike some other urban areas that have been swamped with wildlife, the city of Rye in New York is considering a more proactive option. That option involves calling in over a hundred bowhunters to help manage Westchester County’s abundance of deer. According to the Rye Daily Voice, deer numbers are high enough to be causing significant damage to the area’s parks. Perhaps even worse, the deer are eating up available vegetation and beginning to starve.
“Our primary focus was on forest regeneration,” said park conservation director John Baker. “The deer population is five to 10 times higher than what our forests can support.”
The animals are also a dangerous road hazard.
“We love them, but at the same time they are creating a problem,” resident Ken Siegal told CBS New York. “You can’t put out flowers anymore, but that’s a minor point; the real problem is the roads and people are going to hit them.”
Currently, a four-year program enlisted 100 hunters to manage the deer at nearby reservations. Rye is hoping to bring those hunters–or their own–into a pilot project to curb the deer population this fall. Many residents are supportive of the effort, some are doubtful that the cull will produce any noticeable results soon.
The program will be open to experienced bowhunters with their own equipment. It is reported that participants will be paid.