Council President Exploring Deer Management Tactics

by BethesdaNow.com — November 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm 1,267 1 Comment

County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) said he’s exploring a number of options for thinning out the area’s deer population at a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday night in Potomac.

A resident complained about the prevalence of deer in his neighborhood and two vehicle accidents he experienced, which he blamed on deer running through the street.

“We’re trying. We get it,” said Berliner, who as a former resident of MacArthur Boulevard near the C&O Canal National Park said he’s had close encounters in the past.

This week, the Council supported a deer management bill proposal as a county priority for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.

The bill would reduce restrictions for archery hunters by allowing them to hunt up to 50 yards from a home with the resident’s permission instead of up to 150 yards from a home. The bill is sponsored Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) who represents parts of East County, Brookeville and Damascus.

Berliner also said he’s asked Maryland’s congressional leaders to help the U.S. Park Service find funding for an Environmental Impact Statement that would allow it to pursue a managed deer hunt in C&O Canal Park.

The Council has “steadily increased funding” for deer management over County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommended totals, Berliner said.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is weighing a managed deer hunt in a section of Rock Creek Park in Chevy Chase. The vast majority of public comment on that plan supported the program.

Flickr photo by John Dylan O’Leary

  • Alexander Davis

    Worst of all, the deer epidemic brought us the Lyme disease epidemic. In 1930 there were 300,000 deer in the US. Today there are 30 million. The wise residents of Monhegan Island Maine and Mumford Cove CT ended their Lyme epidemics by getting rid of the deer. This works because removing deer disrupts the tick life cycle. The adult egg-laying deer tick requires a sizeable mammal to feed on and cannot feed on a mouse, for instance. 95% of the egg-laying adult ticks feed on deer. Estimates are that ticks from just one deer produce up to one million tick eggs per season. The deer tick infects us not only with Lyme disease but also with babesiosis and anaplasmosis, both of which can be fatal.


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