Deer Management

FEBRUARY, 2018

- In January the latest phase of the City’s deer management program was authorized by City ordinance and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The program was once again conducted by White Buffalo, Inc, which is a nonprofit organization that is focused on the conservation of native species and ecosystems. The City was authorized by the Missouri Department of Conservation to cull up to 400 deer beginning in January on private property authorized by the property owners. The program ended on February 7 with 361 deer culled. All of the meat was processed and donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Share the Harvest program. The final reports from White Buffalo are posted below.

Each year the City also funds a population study, referred to as distance sampling. The original goal set several years ago was to achieve a population that was less than 30 deer per square mile (deer/mi2) in the ten square miles west of I-270. The distance sampling study conducted at the end of the program indicated a population of 25 deer/mi2 with the most significant reduction occurring along Topping Road.

Where do we go from here?
Despite the success of the deer management program, the population study still indicates a larger number of deer in three areas: along Mason Road next to Queeny Park, Clayton and Williamsburg Estates, and in the Town and Country Estates neighborhood. Additional properties are needed in these three areas so that we can effectively address the over-population with future management activities.

Comments and inquiries about the potential use of your property for deer management can be sent to deer@town-and-country.org.

deer graphic
7 Ways To Avoid Hitting A Deer

Deer mating season can be a dangerous time for drivers, deer and car hoods. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, resulting in 200 fatalities, tens of thousands of injuries and over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. Being prepared can help prevent you from adding to these statistics.
When driving, you should:
1. Watch for the rest of the gang. Deer are pack animals, and rarely travel alone. If a deer crosses in front of you, chances are there are more nearby. Slow down and keep an eye out for more deer darting across the road.
2. Timing is everything. Deer are most active at dusk and dawn: periods when your vision is most compromised. To add to their terrible timing, deer are on the move during mating season (between October and January) when you’re more likely to travel after the sun sets. Slow down and stay alert, especially after dark.
3. Wear your seat belt. It may not prevent a collision, but if the inevitable happens a seat belt can reduce injuries. This is especially true if you lose control and collide with something bigger, and more stationary than a deer.
4. Take a moment to reflect. First, look for the road signs. The yellow diamonds with the deer on it are placed in high-traffic areas for deer. You may also spot a deer because their eyes will brightly reflect a car’s headlights, making them easier to spot.
5. Stay Center. On a multi-lane road, the center lane is your safest bet for avoiding a deer collision, as long as your local traffic laws permit it. This gives deer plenty of space; and in case your vehicle does startle them, it gives you more time to react if one darts onto the road.
6. Stay the course. If you see a deer, brake firmly and calmly, and stay in your lane. Swerving could make you lose control of your vehicle and turn a bad situation much worse. Not to mention, deer are unpredictable, and you could swerve directly into their changed path.
7. Honk! Some experts recommend that one long blast of the horn will scare deer out of the road. Do not rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer—studies have shown them to be largely ineffective at minimizing accidents.
We hope you’ll never need this section.
If the above plan fails (and it happens to the best drivers), you should take the following steps in the deer collision aftermath.
1. Pull to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so.
2. Turn on your hazard lights and remain in the vehicle until you are sure it is safe.
3. Call emergency services if injuries are involved or the local police for property damage.
4. Stay away from the deer. If it is still alive, it could be confused, injured and dangerous if approached. When contacting the authorities, let them know if the deer is in a dangerous spot on the road so that it can be removed.

NOVEMBER, 2017

- In early 2017, Mayor Dalton appointed a Deer Management Task Force to analyze the current state of deer management in Town and Country. The ten-member Task Force, led by Co-Chairs Barbara Ann Hughes and Doug Rushing, represented all four wards of the City. Liaisons to the Task Force included Alderman Lindsey Butler, Chair of the Conservation Commission, and Anne Nixon, Director of Parks and Recreation.

The Task Force conducted a number of public meetings throughout the Spring and Summer with the objective of submitting a final report to the Board of Aldermen by September 1. Unable to reach agreement on one final report, two separate reports were submitted by the Co-Chairs.

While the Task Force issued separate reports, both contained common recommendations that included the importance of partnerships with area municipalities and St. Louis County. Public / private collaborative efforts were also discussed by the Task Force as a way in which to explore effective non-lethal methods and grant funding for non-lethal management.

After considering the work of the Task Force and the expert advice of the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Board of Aldermen passed Ordinance 4138 that authorized White Buffalo, a professional wildlife management organization, to cull up to 400 deer with the primary goal of improving public safety by reducing deer / vehicle collisions.

The management program will take place during the month of January and February, 2018 and will be confined to the time frame of approximately 3:00 to 9:00 pm on only selected properties with the approval of the property owner. No other hunting or management activities are lawful in the City of Town and Country.

Questions may be directed to deer@town-and-country.org and if concerned about suspicious persons or circumstances, including incidents of “shots fired,” calls should be directed immediately to the police department by calling 911.

All of the meat from the program will be donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

2017 Deer Task Force

Barbara Ann Hughes, Co-Chair
Doug Rushing, Co-Chair

Ward 1                                  Ward 3
Rosilee Trotta                       Nahid Hashemi
Ron Burkhardt                      Glenn Grow
                                             Shawn Grow

Ward 2                                  Ward 4
Al Gerber                              Sue Blake
Bob Tuckett                          Tom Gura

Liaisons:
Alderman Lindsey Butler, Conservation Commission Chair
Anne Nixon, Director of Parks and Recreation
Deer 1