Provo Moves To A ‘Lethal-Only’ Urban Deer Removal Program

Jul 10, 2019, 7:16 PM | Updated: 7:50 pm

PROVO, Utah – Deer, beware! That’s the message from Provo City officials, after deciding to switch to an all-lethal program to exterminate urban deer that live within the city limits.

The Utah County city is one of many along the Wasatch Front that has struggled with an urban deer problem, where deer come from the foothills and stay within the city boundaries.

A new program underway in the city will work to eliminate these particular deer.

“I think what makes Provo unique is we have a very dense population,” said Nicole Martin, spokesperson for Provo City.

For the past three years, the city’s urban deer program used traps to capture unwanted animals and allow them to be released. However, the Division of Wildlife Resources is no longer supporting a catch and release program, due to concerns of spreading chronic wasting disease.

“Last night, the city council approved an all-lethal urban deer mitigation program,” Martin added.

Moving forward, problem deer trapped will be euthanized and others will be hunted by trained archers. City officials said there’s no need to worry about stray arrows.

“When we use these all lethal means, it is only with those who are fully trained and are specialized with the task they have been given,” she said.

Over the past three years, Provo has eliminated about 35 deer a year. It’s estimated there are currently 400 urban deer living within the city limits, mostly on the east side, where homes meet the mountain foothills.

“If you factor in the reproduction of those deer that were removed from the population, you are looking at nearly one thousand, in terms of population,” Martin said.

City officials said they will likely re-evaluate the success of the program several months down the road to determine if it is effective in eliminating these urban deer.

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Provo Moves To A ‘Lethal-Only’ Urban Deer Removal Program