Deer population becoming a safety concern

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Local leaders are considering sharpshooters as an option to stop a deer problem that is destroying property and creating unsafe conditions on local roads.

"We see deer everyday," said Bloomington nurse Susan McKeen, who sees them in her yard and in the streets.

"I'm always careful looking for deer. They always run across the road at the last minute," said Matt Nussbaum. "My wife got hit by a deer in one of our vans."

The number of deer in Bloomington has become such an issue that a Monroe County task force has drawn up a deer management plan.

As the task force sees it, the deer are a safety issue, and that is why the plan could include some kind of euthanasia.

Residents are not only seeing deer in the roads, but also in their gardens.

A homeowner and gardner told Eyewitness News "they're cute to look at but when you have thousands of dollars invested in your property it can be a frustration."

The Deer Task Force is in its last round of public meetings before presenting recommendations to the City and County council.

They're likely to include the use of sharpshooters in rural areas and residential areas, trapping the deer in pens, and then killing them at close range.

Dave Rollo, Task Force chair, says some of the other ideas include "non-lethal management tools like fence height, banning feeding bins and that sort of thing."

City and County Councils will make a decision after the Task Force presents its recommendations early next month, expecting some opposition in the process.

"They've lived here and most of the people living in the neighborhood like 'em. So what should you do? I'd leave them alone like the birds and the squirrels," said Mark Haggerty.

The U.S. Humane Society wants sterilization and hunting only for public safety.

Nurse Susan McKeen says hunting is the answer "if that's what it takes to save someone from an accident that could cost human life."