Urban Deer Management

Deer Management Program

In response to growing concerns expressed by some Draper residents about the impact of deer on their property, Draper City is in the process of identifying the severity of the urban deer problem, gathering information on urban deer populations and collecting comments from residents. Draper City is exploring the Urban Deer Control Program sponsored by the  Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR).  

Draper Urban Deer Control Plan

urban deer

No decision has been made yet on whether or not to implement this type of program. City leaders continue to gather facts and opinions in order to make an educated and informed decision. They are not considering this program for anywhere east of Highland or in Suncrest. 

What is a the Urban Deer Control Program?

The Urban Deer Control Program is a management program that controls the number of deer living in a populous area. Draper City has an Animal Control Division that has laws and ordinances to manage domestic animals and some wild animals, but there is currently no management plan for the urban deer in Draper.  

Though most deer stay in the mountains, some wander into city limits making it their home; never returning to the mountains. This is not their ideal habitat. Without a management program, the deer population and the problems they cause will continue to increase each year.  

Last year the Division of Natural Resources picked up 33 deer from the side of the road. Most, if not all of these, were related to auto-deer accidents, causing damage to automobiles. In addition, Draper City has received calls from homeowners who have experienced significant property damage to their fruit trees, gardens and other vegetation.

There are two types of Urban Deer Control Program supported by the DWR. These programs are:   

1) Relocation.  In this type of program, deer are captured, tagged, medically evaluated and moved to a remote location. This is a labor-intensive process and costs are higher than removal.  Additionally, relocation causes a great deal of stress on the deer resulting in a small percentage surviving the relocation process. 

2) Removal.  Once a complaint is received, a camera is set up to gather information about the number of deer located on a specific property.  When the complaint is validated, a skilled and trained removal specialist will go onto the property with the permission of the homeowner. The removal of the deer is done from an elevated platform using a crossbow, from a distance of no more than 20 yards. The deer is removed immediately and taken to processing  to prepare the meat for donation to a needy family.  

This program would only affect locations that are west of Highland Drive. Deer populations above Highland Drive are considered to be mountain deer and would not be part of the program.

Deer and other wildlife management programs have been in place for many years. Highland City was the first Wasatch Range city to successfully implement a program. Since then, Herriman (removal ), Provo (relocation and removal ) and Bountiful (removal ) have also implemented urban deer control programs.