There's no better way to control the deer population than culling, so the city should continue a sharpshooting program into the future, .
"At the time of this writing it does not appear that any new, practical, techniques for deer management will be available to the city in any immediate time frame," writes , who administered the deer program for the city.
"Althught continuing the program in the future can only be done at the direction of the Mayor and Council, it is the consensus and recommendation of those that monitored and administered the project to continue the program using sharp-shooting methods," he adds.
Hromco recommends the city to enter into a multi-year agreement with the to continue the program.
Sharpshooters with the USDA culled 300 deer between Jan. 30 and March 19. The program cost the city more than $180,000.
The report recommends a number of changes to the program in the future, including:
- The ability to use all of the bait sites on a daily basis.
- Expanded hours of operation at the shooting sites, to provide shooters will more flexibility to work earlier, or later, depending on needs.
- Use four-wheel drive vehicles to access more remote sites. Sharpshooters would shoot from the back of these vehicles, but the report stresses they will only shoot when the vehicle is stationary.
- Use pick-up trucks to access sites quicker and more efficiently. Again, shooting would take place from the back of the truck only when stationary.
- The city should contract with an outside company to conduct a deer population count. That work, which could cost $10,000 to $30,000, would verify the size of Solon's deer population. This is recommended in the next two to three years.
Furthermore, Hromco writes that the city could reach its target deer population of 300 to 400 deer next year.
"Once that target number of deer is attained, fewer resources should be required to keep the city's deer population in balance," the report reads.
Editor's Note: We'll have more stories on the review of Solon's deer culling program this week. Sign up for our free daily e-mail newsletter to see the stories first thing in the morning.