April 9, 2019 – West Bend, WI – The West Bend Deer Management Committee got the lowdown from U.S.D.A. certified wildlife biologist Charles Lovell regarding the 2018-19 effort to remove up to 60 whitetail deer from Lac Lawrann and Ridge Run Park.
Some stats from the Monday night meeting:
-There were a total of 56 deer removed by sharpshooters between December 2018 – March 2019.
-Lac Lawrann Conservancy 23 deer, County property west of Schmidt Road 10 deer, and Ridge Run Park 23 deer.
-Of the 25 adult females removed all were pregnant.
-The four adult bucks all had dropped their antlers.
-There were a couple incidents during the eight days sharpshooters were in the park including a woman at Ridge Run who yelled “run away deer” while sharpshooters were sitting in a tree stand. There was also another incident at the same park where a tree stand was damaged over the weekend.
-All 56 deer were taken to Schwai’s Meats in Fredonia where they were processed for donation to the local food pantry.
-Fifty of the 56 deer were sampled for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). So far 21 deer have been sampled and confirmed CWD free and 29 deer are awaiting testing.
-After the completion of removal it’s estimated there are at least six deer left within Ridge Run Park, although there’s a large area of forested habitat to the south and west which may harbor a large number of deer.
-Between the county property and Lac Lawrann it’s estimated about 15 deer remain.
Recommendations: Lovell suggested the city continue removal efforts for at least one more year before rely on bow hunting only to manage the deer herd in Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park.
-Also recommended that a survey be conducted to estimate deer population within each park.
– Safety is the No.1 concern.
-Mike Jentsch with the West Bend Parks Department said the “sharpshooter program is the best tool but how will we reduce the deer population on 9,000 acres. We can’t do it overnight. Will USDA available.
-Common that once you knock the population down then you get into a maintenance mode.
-The final cost was $9,000 for eight hunting events and 56 deer which equals about $160 a deer …. or less considering the 23 female deer removed were all pregnant.
– If sharpshooters would come again they would start at Ridge Run. At Lac Lawrann, Lovell said, “Those deer did not act like park deer but hunted deer.”
-Lovell recommended the city pass a no feeding ordinance in locations with geese and deer. A quick counterpoint was made that Washington County has a no baiting policy in place.
-There was some discussion about a heavy deer population in Bicentennial Park, off of 18th Avenue just south of Chestnut Street. The condo owners with bird feeders were noted to be a safe place with a consistent food source.
-Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick will present the report to the West Bend Common Council on Monday, April 15.