JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council could soon be taking a closer look at what some say is a growing problem of deer within the city limits.
During Monday Night’s Jamestown City Council work session, councilman Andrew Liuzzo (R-At Large) said he was made aware of the growing deer problem through a recent letter-to-the-editor in the Jamestown Post-Journal calling for a deer management plan in the city.
Liuzzo said he then went on Facebook to the “Jamestown, NY” group page to seek more feedback on the issue. He said through the post, found that there are a large number of residents concerned with the number of deer in the city, which damage property and landscaping and also pose a threat to motorists.
The councilman said the city should consider working with a small group of bow hunters to harvest deer within the city limits in order to control the population.
“We have skilled [bow] hunters in the area that could be certified. A certified hunter makes a shot that doesn’t injure the deer, but puts it down,” Liuzzo said. “It wouldn’t be open to any hunter, it would be a select group. It’s quiet and they’re doing it from a tree stand so if there is a miss, the arrow would go into the ground.”
Liuzzo also said he’s talked with a representative from the state DEC who said he would be willing to come in and talk with the council about deer management.
City councilwoman Vanessa Weinert said she would first like to learn what all available options to dealing with and managing deer populations, prior to settling on the bow hunting solution.
Liuzzo said he would support holding a hearing on the issue to allow members of the community an opportunity to weigh in on the issue and offer their thoughts on how the issue should be dealt with.
“Your options are ten-foot fences if you want to protect your property, but those would require a variance because you’re only allowed to have up to a six-foot fence. You could take human hair from the beauty shop and spread it around. You can have repellents. But all those things are short-term because the deer are used to people and they’re not going to stay long,” Liuzzo said.
Liuzzo also noted that it is illegal in New York State to feed deer and wants to reminds residents that they shouldn’t be putting out food to attract deer. It’s also currently illegal to hunt deer with bow or shotgun within the city limits, but the city could approve a measure requesting a deer management permit from the DEC and to allow hunting with certain restrictions included. A similar program has been initiated and underway in the village of Celoron for the past six years.
The city council agreed it was a public safety issue and as a result, said they would await further input from Public Safety director and police Chief Harry Snellings – who was absent from Monday’s meeting.