Deer in Worthington: Counting to take place, via helicopter
Perhaps you’ve already heard—a count of deer in Worthington will take place, beginning this morning at ≈ 10 a.m., by way of a Metro Parks helicopter. The helicopter is likely to fly relatively low, back and forth across our city, as it methodically seeks to count the deer against the backdrop of snow on the ground.
This inventory count is preliminary to City Council considering further programs and actions to address the issue of deer in our community. As the reader may remember, Council took an initial step last year by way of a no-feed ordinance. You can read about that below, in my 3/2/22 blog post, and the ordinance itself below that. More to come.
from 3/3/22 blog post:
Deer in Worthington—The issue of deer in our city, neighborhoods, and yards, has been a recurring issue for a number of years. The issue of deer, and how we live with them, is important, complex, and has no simple answer. Nevertheless, I am committed to squarely engaging the issue. At the 3/14 Council meeting we will hear a report from City Staff on policy options, and we will have available sample legislation regarding a No Deer Feeding ordinance. A No Feed ordinance would not solve the problem that many experience, but I believe it would be a step in the right direction and would indicate Council’s determination to not simply avoid addressing the issue. I expect Council will also discuss next steps. Again, this issue is surprisingly complex once you dig in to it, but I believe the Worthington community can successfully engage the issue rationally and compassionately.
No-feed ordinance, passed 5/9/22, effective 6/1/22:
The goal of this legislation is to reduce the number of deer congregating in neighborhoods throughout Worthington where intentional feeding is occurring, reduce damage to property, prevent deer-auto collisions, and slow down the growth of the deer population. The feeding ban is designed to discourage deer from remaining in the city and becoming reliant on non-native food sources.
The legislation prohibits people from intentionally putting out food for the deer to eat. This includes foods such as fruits, grains, salt licks, vegetables, nuts, or any other edible materials that may be consumed by deer. This legislation does not include commercially purchased bird feeders, gardens, and other naturally growing landscaping, or compost piles.