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Tega Cay Officials to Decide on Doubling Deer Culling Initiative in Response to Overpopulation Concerns

Deer overpopulation and meeting

Tega Cay Leaders Set to Vote on Doubling the Deer Culling Initiative Amid Overpopulation Concerns

By Faith Alford, 22 January 2024

The Issue at Hand

In an unpreceded move to address deer overpopulation concerns, the leaders in Tega Cay have convened a special meeting on Monday night. The meeting’s agenda is to authorize a change in the deer culling program, resulting in doubling the number of deer culled.

According to existing plans, a skillfully trained sharpshooter from the Department of Agriculture is set to begin deer reduction at the Tega Cay Golf Club for the subsequent two weeks.

Increasing Culling Target

The initial proposal intended to cull 80 deer. However, given the pronounced level of overpopulation, the town secured permissions to double that figure, leading to an expected culling of 160 deer. This revision is what the leaders will cast their votes on on Monday.

Tega Cay is believed to house approximately 1,100 deer within a three-and-a-half-mile radius—an alarming figure more than triple the normal. Residents have raised concerns due to a multitude of reasons; crashes resulting from the deer pose a significant risk, widespread destruction of landscaping by the deer, and the deer leaving behind potentially harmful waste for other animals, including household pets.

Differing Views

While some citizens approve the culling initiative, others question its effectiveness. One resident remarked, “I’m really confused as to why this is such a hot button issue in our community. If we finally move ahead with culling the massive deer herds in Tega Cay, we’ll still have plenty of deer in the community. We just won’t have starving deer scavenging for anything green to eat.

Skeptical about culling’s effect, another resident said, “Culling has been going on for many years and it isn’t effective. You can’t keep shooting deer in such a densely populated community like Tega Cay and expect to see results.

The Plan for Culling

As per the culling plan, the procedure will include still hunting and night hunting, equipped with spotlighting and forward looking infrared (FLIR) devices. To ensure selectivity, only targeted animals will be culled. The culled deer will be taken to local processors by Wildlife Services and then donated to local food banks.

To ensure residents’ safety, signs will be stationed, police officers will be active to monitor security, and the sharpshooter will use a silencer. “Public safety is going to be paramount,” stated Scott Shirley, Tega Cay council member, adding, “nobody will be wandering around someone’s backyard with an AR-15, shooting deer.

The overall operational cost is estimated to hover just over $94,000.

Potential Long-Term Solution

While culling is the immediate measure being discussed, the town leaders also considered darting deer with a fertility control agent referred to as PZP in the long term. While the leaders may eventually resort to this method, they cited the requisite training and other factors as the reasons for its current infeasibility.

HERE Rock Hill
Author: HERE Rock Hill

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