Fight continues over northwest Indiana town’s plans to cull deer
The Associated Press
OGDEN DUNES, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a town along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shore are moving ahead with plans for a hunt to reduce the number of deer around the community even though some residents oppose that proposal.
Ogden Dunes Town Council President Allen Johnson said the board’s 4-1 vote last week to seek a new deer cull permit was needed after state Department of Natural Resources rejected steps such as trapping and moving deer and using insecticides to kill ticks on the deer, The Times of Munster reported Monday (http://bit.ly/TxQIae ).
“We have two options. One is not to do anything and the second is a cull,” Johnson said. “I firmly believe we have too many deer in town.”
Town officials established a deer management task force, after 17 deer were killed in a similar cull in January around the wooded community of about 1,100 people.
Bernadette Slawinski, a 35-year resident and member of the task force, said she spent hours researching alternative methods of controlling both the deer and tick populations and gave her findings to the Town Council.
“I’m not sure they even read the report,” Slawinski said.
She said there are simpler things residents can do, such as planting deer-tolerant plants and controlling the mice population, but officials and residents don’t seem interested.
Several confirmed and suspected cases of Lyme disease possibly linked to ticks carried by the deer have been reported by town residents.
Johnson said while the concern over Lyme disease is the main issue, he’s also worried about the safety of drivers on the narrow, hilly town roads. A deer count last winter found at least 55 deer in the 1-square-mile area around the town, he said.
“We believe reducing the number of deer will reduce the number of ticks,” he said.
Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.