White Tail Deer in Rockville Cemetery

Council’s Feb. 28 Worksession Focuses on Deer

The Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety Committee will hold a work session on Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m. to update the county’s efforts to control the deer population.

The briefing will include an analysis of the program which, despite increased efforts, has not significantly decreased the key statistics associated with the growing deer population—including the number of collisions between deer and vehicles.

The Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Phil Andrews and includes Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich, will meet in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will be available via streaming through the County web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Among those expected at the worksession is Rob Gibbs of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, who chairs the County’s Deer Management Work Group. Also expected is Jeremy Criss, the agricultural services manager of the county’s Department of Economic Development. He will report on the impact the large deer population continues to have on County’s agricultural areas.

The county’s Deer Management Program was established in 1995. Since that time, reports have been issued annually that identify problems and make recommendations for the upcoming year.

The latest report shows the number of deer harvested through the program in the county continues to be consistent, including 5,598 during the 2012-13 seasons. By comparison, 5,571 were harvested in 2011-12; 5,969 were taken in 2010-11; and 5,599 were harvested in 2009-10.

Despite the aggressive efforts, the number of reported deer-vehicle collisions has also remained consistent. There were 2,019 reported accidents in 2012. In 2011, the number of reported accidents was 2,038. Since 2000, the number of reported accidents has always exceeded 1,841, and in six of those years, the number exceeded 2,000.

County statistics for the number of confirmed and probable cases of Lyme Disease also has remained steady over the two most recent years that statistics were available: 297 in 2011—one more than in 2010.

The committee will talk to the work group about recommendations that could lead to declines in the significant statistics associated with the large deer population.

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