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Logan government to residents: Stop poaching deer in city limits

By Miranda Tilley

Oct. 4, 2016

Some Logan residents have been illegally adding to their antler collections by poaching the deer that roam the city’s streets.

According to city officials a few bow hunters have either shot or harvested deer in the Hillcrest, Adams and Island neighborhoods over recent weeks.

“In one instance, the deer died right in front of a resident and people came and just picked it up and took it away,” Logan councilwoman Jeannie Simmonds said. 

A program in North Logan, developed with the assistance of the

Division of Wildlife Resources last year, authorized highly skilled archers to shoot deer that were living within that city’s limits. The program was intended to manage the overall population of urban deer while not necessarily eliminating them altogether.

Logan city mayor Craig Petersen stressed that this program does not exist in his city, and called on residents to report any hunters seen in town.

“People had seen bow hunters and they thought Logan city had authorized it and had already started an urban deer management program,” Petersen said. “Clearly that is not authorized and they should call the police right away.”

The Logan council did agree on Sept. 20 that the number of deer in Logan has grown to a dangerously high level and something needs to be done. 

“Deer have a homing instinct,” Petersen said. “Where they are born is where they stay. The fawns that were born here have grown into bucks and they won’t leave.”

Peterson isn’t just coming at the problem from a policy perspective.

“I was driving to work two weeks ago and a deer ran across Fourth North right in front of me,” he said.

Deer can also attract predators to the city's neighborhoods; several cougar sightings have occurred within the past year.

“You think of these deer coming down here and living this wonderful, safe life but it’s not that way at all,” Petersen said. More than 70 deer “were impaled while attempting to jump over fences” last year, he said.  

Mark Brunson, of the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University, conducted a survey on the management of the urban deer in Logan. The surveys were sent out Wednesday to randomly selected residents. The results are expected to be complete next month and will affect what course of action the Logan council takes. 

A possible solution may be to follow in North Logan’s footsteps and work out a similar management plan but, at least for now, the city remains a no-hunting zone.