Eden Prairie’s deer management program begins Dec. 1, according to the city’s parks and natural resources manager Matt Bourne.
The city partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Three Rivers Park District to safely and effectively cull deer populations, Bourne told Eden Prairie News. Using aerial counts of deer population density and input about deer problems from residents, they create a baited site for sharpshooters to target and kill deer, he said.
While police and dispatchers know where and when deer culling happens, the sites and dates are not public information because “curiosity” might draw people to wander near the site and into danger, Bourne said.
It’s against city code for residents to shoot at or kill deer.
Since 2016, the city has done annual deer management with a target of 50-60 deer killed. However, in the winter of 2019-2020, the program aims to kill around 120 deer, Bourne said. That number is higher than the past few years because severe ice, cold and snow in the past few winters has made it difficult to hit previous targets, he explained. The city has had a deer management program since 1994.
While the city’s Department of Natural Resources permit for deer management begins Dec. 1, there’s no definitive end date to the program, Bourne said.
“We’ll go as long as it takes for us to hit our target,” he said.