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City council looks at ways to thin the deer population

Posted: Tue, May 19, 2020 11:24 AM

It's a problem that has bedeviled Decorah for a number of years—a growing deer population which eats plants, causes accidents, and creates a number of problems in town.
Monday night, members of the Decorah City Council's Community Betterment Committee picked up the issue again, in search of possible answers.  They discovered—again—that there are no easy solutions.  City officials have looked into having the Iowa DNR do a deer population flyover of Decorah, but funding for that program has been cut by the DNR.  Committee members also discussed getting local bow hunters to hunt deer within the city limits, but response to that idea has been tepid at best in the past.  Park-Rec Director Andy Nimrod, who is a hunter himself, suggested there are many places near Decorah that hunters can go without having to be concerned about hunting in a populated area.  Hunters want to hunt deer in places like Carlson Park, not "by your house," Nimrod said.
Committee members agreed they would contact Luther College officials to see whether the school would allow a deer hunt on college property.  City Administrator Chad Bird said the communities which have had success reducing urban deer populations are those which have had year-after-year programs for more than a decade.