Tired of having their gardens destroyed and their porches invaded, some Moundsville residents are concerned the deer population in the area is two to three times its optimal size, prompting city officials to consider allowing off-season hunting within city limits.
Karen Ali and Linda Richmond Artimez, both residents of Cherokee Hill, urged the City Council at a recent meeting to address what they believe is a problematic number of deer in the neighborhood.
"The deer have become aggressive enough to start coming onto front porches," Ali said. "That is not normal behavior. The optimal amount of deer is about 10 per square mile, but I've seen as much as 28 deer in a yard."
Photo by Sarah Harmon
A deer on Cherokee Hill in Moundsville forages for food in a neighborhood yard at dusk.
After the meeting, Ali said she believes the population has been growing for the past five or so years and is increasingly becoming a problem for residents. Ali noted the deer may be a health hazard to the community, because they can carry ticks and defecate in creeks where she said neighborhood children play.
These concerns have sparked the idea in city council members to consider letting city residents allow bow hunting of deer outside of hunting season. Mayor Gene Saunders noted Wheeling took similar steps in the past when that city was having problems with the growing number of deer.
"It cut down on the population dramatically," Saunders said. "Hunting could be on the table."
Council plans on discussing solutions to reducing the deer population June 11 at its Policy Committee meeting.