Neighborhood Deer Remain a Problem in Jamestown
In April, Erie News Now told you about the herds of deer that were invading neighborhoods in Jamestown, New York. Nothing has changed as we head into 2022.
Deer can still be easily found any time of the day in neighborhoods that border wooded areas. Our Erie News Now camera spotted several deer last week in the backyard of a home. They were having a nice lunch eating grass in that backyard. You can imagine how they act in the spring and the summer when gardens are sprouting with new flowers and vegetables. We also found some deer in a side yard of another home. They were not moving. They were content to just look up and stare. Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist knows the situation very well.
"It's not as simple as the deer are a nuisance, eating the bushes. That's a problem. But, it's getting so bad that you're seeing seven in a row that are just standing in the street. And what do you do about that?"
Last Spring, Mayor Sundquist organized a special committee to find a solution to the problem. The special committee studied what other cities have been doing about the overabundance of deer. They listened to wildlife biologists. The committee recommended a controlled deer hunt where specially selected archery hunters would reduce the herd. The hunt would have taken place in secured locations on city park property. But, in September, Jamestown City Council voted down the proposal citing safety and liability concerns. The mayor was surprised.
"The goal is to reduce the herd. The more you can reduce the herd, the better the problem becomes. But, when you do nothing, it becomes a bigger issue."
Sundquist is concerned about an increase of ticks and Lyme Disease. He says statistics for Lyme Disease are increasing in the city. He says traffic accidents involving deer could also get worse. For the mayor, it's an issue that hits close to home.
"To be honest, I have probably seven deer that come sit in my yard every morning as I take out my dog at 6 in the morning. So you see it."
Jamestown City Council will have three new members as it begins the New Year. It's unknown how those new members feel about the overabundance of deer in their city. Tom Nelson was the chairman of the special committee that recommended the deer hunt. He lost his re-election bid for city council. He says he does not know if that particular issue led to his defeat.