DWR calls on city police to help with urban deer

Dec 27, 2023, 12:43 PM | Updated: 12:43 pm

The Division of Wildlife Resources has authorized Utah cities to rely on police to cull urban herds...

The Division of Wildlife Resources has authorized Utah cities to rely on police to cull urban herds. At least through the end of the year. (Scott Root)

(Scott Root)

SALT LAKE CITY —  Deer hunters put their guns away months ago. However, the Division of Wildlife Resources has authorized Utah cities to rely on police to cull urban herds. At least through the end of the year. 

It’s part of a plan by the Division of Wildlife Resources to reduce the number of deer versus car collisions, munched flower beds, and general nuisance calls.

According to the Division of Natural Resources, thousands of deer are hit by cars each year

Additionally, cities hire urban hunting contractors, some of whom brought down 150 city deer last year. Urban mule deer populations have been in the crosshairs of towns like Bountiful for a decade.

The animals used to be tranquilized and moved back to the mountains. However, this method was not always successful. 

“Once they tranquilized, removed them, and took them back up into the mountains, there honestly was only about a 50% survival rate anyways,” said Faith Heaton Jolley with the Division of Wildlife Resources. 

Is urban deer hunting safe?

Jolley said there are safeguards in place to keep people safe if officers are bringing down a deer. 

“There’s precautions that are taken…cities have ordinances against discharging a firearm in city limits so a lot of the time they’re using [weapons like]…you know archery equipment, things that are a little bit safer,” said Jolley. 

If you’re looking to deter deer from your property, it’s better to rely on 7.5-foot high fences and lay plastic or burlap over your vegetation.

Jolley also said the meat collected from the urban deer will be donated to families in need. 


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DWR calls on city police to help with urban deer