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).  In an effort to better understand the problems raised by the concerned Draper residents, and to inform all residents about the DWR program, the city held the first of two open houses on March 14.  The presenters included:  Brian Cook (Humphries Archery), Wes Alexander (Division of Wildlife Resources), and Draper Police Chief John Eining.

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.  The Draper City Council members will o be discussing an Urban Deer Management program at one of its upcoming meetings. Please check on the Draper website where the agendas are posted to watch for this item.  

If you missed the first open house, we invite you to join us at an Open House on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at Draper City Hall, Council Chambers.   If you can't make it to the open house, please submit your comments online at: www.draper.ut.us/deercomments

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.

Draper City leaders are evaluating the merits of this program, and greatly appreciate the input from Draper residents.  At this time, no decision has been made.   We thank all those who attended the first meeting and provided input.  We welcome you back on April 25 to the next open house.

Open House

Save the date:   April 25, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.,Draper City Hall, Council Chambers. 1020 East Pioneer Road, Main Floor of City Hall. 

You will be able to meet with a representative from Humphries Archery that is running similar programs in neighboring cities. Bring your questions and comments to the meeting.

Additional Information

Fact Sheet - Urban Mule Deer Issues    https://wildlife.utah.gov/hunting/pdf/mdwg/mdwg-9_urban_issues.pdf

Humphries Archery https://humphriesarchery.com/ 

Bountiful Catch and Release Program:  https://www.bountifulutah.gov/Deer-Plan

Provo City's First Year of Urban Mule Deer Capture and Relocation Program:   (February, 2017) https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/central/provo/provo-s-urban-deer-capture-and-relocation-program-completes-first/article_225fa5a0-b3af-5013-8929-aa92f387aa0a.html 

Highland Pilot Deer Program:   https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/north/highland/neighboring-states-considering-highland-pilot-deer-program/article_5031138d-d7a8-525b-940c-1cac63f09517.html 

Utah Mule Deer Statewide Management Plan:   https://wildlife.utah.gov/hunting/biggame/pdf/mule_deer_plan.pdf