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Missouri Town Hosting Vigil for Dead Deer

Some of suburb's residents upset by money being spent to kill deer
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2015 10:00 AM CST
Missouri Town Hosting Vigil for Dead Deer
In this Sept. 27, 2014, photo, deer roam a field in Port Mansfield, Texas.   (AP Photo/Valley Morning Star, Maricela Rodriguez)

(Newser) – Residents of a suburb of St. Louis, Mo., will hold a candlelight vigil for dead deer tomorrow night. It may sound silly, but residents are also protesting the hefty sum that Town and Country officials have paid to thin the animal's population over the last few years. Vigil organizers say in a press release that the town is forking over "$46,000 to kill 100 deer on as little as two-acre parcels" and has hired out-of-state sharpshooters to handle the job. The goal was to squash the number of car-deer collisions, but organizers say that hasn't happened, KMOX reports.

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Per the town's deer management reporting, 30 verified car-deer collisions occurred in 2014, compared with 38 in 2013; a 2014 report compiled by Town and Country notes that 87 deer were "harvested" over eight days in January of that year. Resident Barbara Ann Hughes—who has organized the vigil—argues in the release that "biologists on the national level have studied the issue and concur that lethal methods of deer management are NOT effective in an urban setting." But Newser did find one study published in 2008 in Human-Wildlife Conflicts that reviewed suburban sharpshooting management programs in Iowa City, Iowa; Princeton, NJ; and Solon, Ohio. Local deer herds were reduced by 76%, 72%, and 54%, respectively, and deer-vehicle collisions dropped 78%, 75%, and 49%. (In Wisconsin, the deer fight back.)

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