Preparations for deer management activities in southeast Ramsey County start this week, and management will continue through March. The affected management area includes County parkland, Saint Paul’s Highwood neighborhood, and south Maplewood. The recommended, healthy, urban deer population for the management area is 21 to 28 deer. During the most recent aerial survey, land managers recorded 111 deer. The current deer population exceeds the carrying capacity of the management area, fourfold. Deer populations in excess of carrying capacity in urban environments often result in damage to ornamental and garden plants, high rates of deer/vehicle collisions and damage or excessive browsing to native trees, shrubs and plants.
Ramsey County, the City of Saint Paul, and the City of Maplewood have worked cooperatively on deer management in Ramsey County since 1999. As a part of this cooperative effort, the organizations have performed aerial monitoring of the herd, implemented wildlife feeding ordinances, and performed special permit archery hunts in the county.
During the winter of 2017/2018 deer management activities will be accomplished in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wildlife Services division. The mission of USDA APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) is to provide Federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist. WS conducts program delivery, research, and other activities through its Regional and State Offices, the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) and its Field Stations, as well as through its National Programs.
Wildlife Services sharpshooters will be operating on or adjacent to public lands where permission from affected landowners has been obtained. The management locations have been selected with safety for firearms discharge as the number one priority. Wildlife Services will coordinate their activities with local law enforcement.Control activities will take place primarily after dark, utilizing special precautions including the use of night and thermal vision equipment, and will likely go unnoticed by most area residents.
All deer removed in this program will be donated to underserved residents of Ramsey County in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The removal program will cost approximately $13,000 and is being funded jointly by the Ramsey County, the City of Maplewood, and the City of Saint Paul.