Syracuse working to implement new deer management program
A new deer management program could help reduce deer overpopulation in the city of Syracuse.
Deer culling season in the city of Syracuse began in mid-December with USDA-trained hunters working to reduce the deer overpopulation in some areas of the city. Greg Loh, chief policy officer for the city of Syracuse said a lot of the concerns surrounding deer populations are with tick-borne illnesses, motor vehicle/deer accidents and ecosystem imbalances.
“It’s those three issues combined that make it the right choice to conduct deer management activities,” Loh said.
This year, thanks to a new state law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in late 2023 and sponsored by Assemblymember Pamela Hunter and State Sen. Rachel May, the area for deer management in the city will increase with an urban deer management pilot program. Loh said new guidelines reduce the distance from occupied buildings the USDA sharpshooters can fire from by half.
“We can now, with permission of property owners for any occupied dwellings, we can conduct deer management within 250 feet of any occupied dwelling,” Loh said.
The city is currently working with the state DEC to implement new sites for deer management before the end of the season in March.
“It’s important that we get to implementation of new sites this year,” Loh said. “Because we continue to hear in parts of the city, particularly on the east side of the city, that the deer population has not gone down, that in fact the deer population, by reports we get from citizens in those areas, has probably gone up.”
This is the fifth season deer management has been conducted in Syracuse.