Plan To Thin Deer Herd At Park OK’d

A plan to cull the deer population at Glen Maury Park was given the green light Thursday by Buena Vista City Council.

Lt. Mitchell Harrison of the Buena Vista Police Department told Council he’s been in talks with a biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries about how to thin the herd at the park. The discussions were prompted by concerns of an overpopulation that could lead to a deterioration in the health of the deer.

A plan is envisioned, he explained, in which the population would be reduced so that it could be sustained by the available forage. Deer taken would be donated to Hunters for the Hungry, he said. “It’s yet to be determined what the number [to be taken out] would be,” he said.

Harrison estimated the deer population at the park to be about 500. They’re very visible to motorists traveling past the park and adjacent Vista Links golf course, especially in the hours leading up to dusk. It’s not uncommon to see perhaps a dozen or more at a time.

It’s been about a decade since a deer archery shoot was held at the park. Harrison said he’s been told by the VDGIF biologist that not enough deer were taken out then to improve the health of the herd.

Harrison asked for authorization from Council to proceed with a plan for deer management, once the details have been worked out with VDGIF. It’s hoped that the population can be culled prior to the return of warm weather and camping season, and that a plan can be instituted for a return of an archery shoot next fall.

A motion by Melvin Henson to authorize a deer management plan passed Council by a 7-0 vote.

The News-Gazette

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