Last month, the City of Helena brought back their Urban Deer Survey after a two-year hiatus.
Police officers actually did the tally, simply by driving around town and counting the deer they saw. They then gave those results to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to tally.
The goal was to determine how many deer lived in the city limits, and if that exceeded the 25 deer per square mile limit the city set for itself.
The results of that study are not out yet. I already know what Helena will do if they have too many deer - they’ll cull the herd. They do this by trapping and humanely euthanizing. The meat is then donated to local food banks. In 2008, Helena culled 50 deer in town this way.
I urge the City of Missoula to consider doing the same. We have way too many deer in town, including huge bucks with large sets of antlers. This is a danger to kids at bus stops, walkers, drivers, and house pets.
Missoula, please manage your wildlife population.