Residents Conflicted Over Eden Prairie Deer Removal Program

Updated: 11/14/2012 10:39 PM KSTP.com By: Chris Egert

Eden Prairie will start a program Thursday to rid the city of some of the deer that roam neighborhoods, parks and streets.

Most of the deer management that is taking place -- will happen after dark, and out of view.

Eden Prairie first started managing the deer herd in 1994, when there were around 280 car vs. deer collisions.

Stuart Fox is the Manager of Parks & Natural Resources for Eden Prairie, “The purpose of our deer reduction program is not to eliminate deer, but to manage it to a habitat ratio that is not only successful for the deer, but members of our community."

The city hired 3 sharp-shooting wildlife removal experts from White Buffalo Inc. to spend around 10 days in mainly city owned property. 

City resident Jean Reichow has mixed emotions, “I don't like that they kill them, but i think that is probably a necessary thing to do."

Police will block off the areas while the experts go in -- it will happen at night -- away from neighborhoods.  Most residents won’t even see it, but they could easily hear the shots being fired.

The Minnesota State Department of Natural Resources says similar deer removal operations take place in Minnetonka, Deephaven, Woodland, Center City, and Cambridge.  There are also a few other cities that could start doing it soon.

Wes and Marlene Johnson say this whole thing makes them sad.

"I hate to see them be killed – I wish they had a big ranch or something to take them to,” said Wes Johnson.

They take some comfort knowing that the 100 or so deer the city removes will be processed, and donated to 2nd Harvest Heartland.