The Glendive City Council Tuesday night approved a deer management plan that will now be considered by the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission.
Mayor Jerry Jimison said that he expected the plan to be passed by the commission because he used plans approved using bow hunting for deer management in city limits in other communities as a basis for the Glendive plan.
The Mayor also noted he is “not sure if it is safe for citizens and small animals to be out on the streets anymore because of the confrontations with deer.” He added “This may not be the perfect plan and it may not be the only plan, but it is a starting point showing the residents and the citizens that the council is attempting to do something to address the problem.”
The city of Glendive Deer Management Action Plan’s purpose is to reduce the negative impacts to people caused by deer in and near the city. While the management of deer that inhabit Glendive occurs on a larger scale than the restrictions detailed in the plan it does not preclude additional coordinated efforts with landowners adjacent to and in near proximity to Glendive. The Goal of the plan is to eliminate individual deer that threaten human safety and reduce the potential for human-deer interactions by lowering deer numbers in the city. However, the mayor did acknowledge that not everyone in the community will be happy about the deer management plan. He noted that he has received numerous calls from residents asking that the deer be left alone.
The proposed plan involves four parts: Public bow hunting, dispatch of deer who threaten human safety; Firearm use for the purpose of dispatching animals is only allowed by Montana Peace Officers such as FWP wardens, police, and sheriff deputies; Deer threatening safety of pets confined to yards will be dispatched by FWP wardens while those who destroy gardens will be addressed by bow hunting; finally, the plan calls for the people of Glendive to refrain from artificial feeding of deer and notes that it is both a misdemeanor offense, it induces the deer to adopt habits that put them in conflict with humans and ultimately means the deer must be destroyed. Additionally the plan notes that the food given to deer is unhealthy for them.
Proposed rules for the in-town hunt include archery-only on open space property owners per-approved by the City of Glendive. All lands will require individual land-owner approval and some may require owner escorts. Hunters will be required to immediately remove deer viscera from visible areas. All meat not otherwise wanted or needed may be donated to the food bank via Triple T meats.
Once the proposal is accepted by FWP, the commission will set dates for archery-only hunts. In the meantime, local police are still in possession of special tags issued by FWP to remove deer threatening humans in case of emergency.
The mayor added that he and city operations manager Kevin Dortwart are considering legislation to be proposed to force Fish Wildlife and Parks to be in charge of deer control within communities like Glendive.