Local News

Chapel Hill Council to consider ways to reduce deer population

Posted January 10, 2010

— Homeowners in the Mt. Bolus neighborhood of Chapel Hill say deer have become such a nuisance they want them removed. The Town Council is scheduled to hear their concerns and discuss ways to curb overpopulation Monday.

"The development has just taken away all the space that used to be deer country,” Mt. Bolus homeowner Frank Fischer said.

"You feel like you are out in the woods, but you are in town,” Mt. Bolus homeowner Judy Bergman said. "This last spring, I saw 15 (deer) in my backyard."

Deer population becomes problem for Chapel Hill Deer population becomes problem for Chapel Hill

From flowers to plants, Bergman says the deer eat everything in sight. She has tried to get rid of the animals herself.

"I have tried Irish Spring hanging soap, tin plates,” she said.

Bergman even strung fishing line across her property.

"That helps a little bit, the deer evidently don't like to hit that (and) they sensed it," she said.

Bergman started a petition to get council members to do something about deer overpopulation. Some neighbors want the town to hire professional deer bow hunters to reduce the population.

However, in a memo, town staff members said it was too dangerous and would have to be done repeatedly on a regular basis to be effective. Instead, they would like to send out informational packets on ways homeowners can protect their landscaping from deer.

Some of the suggestions include planting landscape materials that deer do not like to eat, the use of repellents and putting up 8-foot tall fences to keep the deer out.

The Town Council will consider the educational campaign and other recommendations, including deer sterilization, at Monday's meeting.


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  • bowmaster10pt Jan 12, 2010

    I am a professional bowhunter. I hunt to manage the population as well as the tablefare.A professional bowhunter doesn't charge for this service.I am a member of the N.C. Bowhunters Association.We support culling the doe population in the state.The Urban Archery season dates are from Jan.9th through Feb15th,I believe.I have been managing deer for many hundreds of property owners ,in 5 counties,for many years. My success rate is exteamly high.I am currently helping out the town of Pittsboro this year with this program.It is run very strictly through the Pittsboro Police Dept...Not just anyone gets a permit,an archery skills test is in place,as well as documenting stand sites,permission slips,checking in & out with the police dept.daily,etc.Any questions , the Town Manager can direct your procedures to obtaining a deer season in Chapel Hill.(Through the N.C.resourses commission) The deer are not wasted,and can also be donated to the N.C. hunters for the hungry program..BOB .. 810-6483

  • John Sawtooth Jan 11, 2010

    Either use bow hunters, or wolves - pick one. Bowhunters tend not to eat poodles or leave bloody deer corpses on the lawn; wolves are prettier than the average bowhunter. ;-)

  • x Jan 11, 2010

    Fishon makes a good point about using crossbows for hunting. Crossbows are legal for handicapped NC hunters by permit.
    In March 2009 the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission adopted the proposal to allow the use of crossbows, without permit, anytime bow and arrows are legal weapons, but on April 21, 2009 the North Carolina Rules Review Commission has referred a number of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s proposed rules changes to the General Assembly, due to written opposition. This action is required under state law. As a result, these rules changes will not be implemented until reviewed by the Legislature next year. Legislators have 30 days from the start of the next session to propose a bill disapproving the rule. If no bill is proposed, the rule automatically goes into effect.

    So, the point about discretion is still valid.

  • fishon Jan 11, 2010

    I just had a vision of a deer drive being held by thousands of residents and UNC Chapel Hill students holding hands in mile long links, singing gumbaya while driving the deer out of town to some private land where hunters with guns are waiting to take their toll...
    Maybe James Cameron would film it in 3-D.

  • x Jan 11, 2010

    Oh, I forgot to mention that someone bagged a nice buck in Chapel Hill with a BMW earlier this season. The animal actually ended up inside the car.

  • fishon Jan 11, 2010

    Modern crossbows are not legal to hunt with in NC yet. Many online stores won't sell them as they are not generally legal in NC. And you need a pistol permit from the Sheriff to buy one, just like a handgun, unless you are a concealed carry permit holder.

  • x Jan 11, 2010

    A modern crossbow is both quiet and effective for managing deer in your yard even in an urban setting. They are available on line from Cabelas or dozens of other sources. You can practice in your basement. Fresh venison is both tasty and healthful for you. Deer prefer to browse on well fertilized shrubs or buds in your garden so they make easy targets. Lots of Carolinians have bagged a deer with a Chevy or Honda. They are much better when taken out with a cross bow, you don't have to pay a deductible. Be careful and be discreet.

  • this is my Screen Name Jan 11, 2010

    Would you like whine with that venison?

  • wbearp Jan 11, 2010

    Now here we have a real problem. The tree hugging left in Chapel Hill doesn't know how to control the deer population. You can bet the solution WON'T include killing any of them. Orange County doesn't even like to impose the death sentence on killers! And the guy who drove his jeep through the pit at UNC CH trying to kill people was just misunderstood, not a terrorist. Wendell Williamson didn't mean to hurt anyone, he was just crazy. Leave the illegals alone, they are only trying to better themselves. Maybe the deer got the same message that everyone else has. Go to Chapel Hill and Orange County for peace, love, and understanding.

  • pinehorse Jan 11, 2010

    Sticky deer traps would be a good fit for Chapel Hillians, non-lethal and all that. Just like glue traps for mice but much, much larger. Just pick up the buck or doe after it's stuck and drive it to some poor rural landowner's property and turn them loose again. Ag. supply sells them now.