Missouri town debates best method for reducing deer population: Sterilization or shooting

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. -- For six years the small town of Town and Country, Mo., with approximately 11,000 people on the east side of the state has been using the familiar method of shooting deer to reduce the deer population.

Some residents want to remind their aldermen that they want that method changed. Before the Board of Alderman meeting started, concerned residents stood outside of city hall with signs and candles. They think that the city's method of shooting deer to reduce the population is not the most efficient.

The group said according to wildlife experts, killing off a large group of deer at once actually speeds up their reproduction rate.

Former alderman Al Gerber said the city is spending about $100,000 a year on shooting deer and each year they have to shoot more and more.

Gerber said the group would like the city to sterilize the deer instead, which may be initially more expensive but could save money in the long run.

"It is about three times as costly to do the sterilization but once you sterilize a deer it doesn't have all those fawns and you save that money for the next 15 years," said Gerber.

Board of Alderman President Skip Mange said every year they look at the sterilization method, but right now science is conflicted on if it really works in the long run.

Mange said they have one more week left of sharp shooting and they expect to shoot around 120 deer this year.

He also said that all of the deer are butchered and the meat is donated to shelters.

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