March 27, 2018 – West Bend, WI – The Deer Management Committee in West Bend voted this week to continue the archery hunt for the 2018-2019 season to try and trim the growing deer population.
The archery hunt would take place at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy; those are the same two parks bow hunters focused on earlier this year where they managed to kill three deer in five days.
Much of the discussion Monday night was whether to hire sharpshooters at a cost of about $9,000 to eradicate a total of 60 deer in the two parks.
“I wasn’t in favor of a sharpshooter but if we’re going to try to control the deer population with bow hunters we’ll never catch up,” said committee chair John Butschlick.
West Bend Police Lieutenant Duane Ferrand provided information on the sharpshooters:
-all the shooters are certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
-there would be two separate teams, with multiple deer stands and locations
-they would hunt at night with special night-vision scopes
Butschlick said if sharpshooters come in for one year then the city could go back to an archery hunt. ” While it would help control deer management the goal now is to get the initial number of deer down,” he said.
West Bend Parks Director Mike Jentsch asked whether a $9,000 hunt with sharpshooters would really make a difference. “Half of the park is bordered by town property and eliminating 60 deer on 9,000 acres will it even make a difference,” he said.
A couple of the people who participated in the January hunt said they felt they didn’t really get a fair shot because the initial hunt was rushed right around the Christmas holiday. They felt more preplanning would help with bow hunters success.
The motion to work with bow hunters again this year will be taken to the full common council. The Deer Management Committee will also come armed with details on the option of using sharpshooters.