De Pere to leave deer alone; Ashwaubenon undecided

BROWN COUNTY – Some Green Bay area communities are trying to figure out what to do with the rising number of deer in their neighborhoods.

The main options are do nothing, deal with the problem on your own- using fences or repellents, or bring in sharpshooters.

Just like the phone calls have been coming into Ashwaubenon Village Hall, residents showed up Thursday night split on what to do with the deer in their community.

“All of a sudden it was like, I thought Santa Claus was coming because there was a herd of deer walking right down Kilner Lane and I wasn’t the only one who seen this,” said Stan Kaczmarek of Ashwaubenon.

“I think if there was an over population, especially in our area where we are, I think nature would take care of that,” said Don Gallenberger of Ashwaubenon.

In February, a helicopter went up in Ashwaubenon to count the number of deer. In seven square miles, 134 deer were counted. The Department of Natural Resources recommends 25 deer per mile. That means by the February count Ashwaubenon is below the recommendation, but the village says resident concerns could mean action against the deer.

“There’s a lot of different options that are out there and I think that’s what the big debate is right now is what would be the best one to move forward,” said Rex Mehlberger the director of Ashwaubenon’s parks, recreation and forestry department.

De Pere has been dealing with the same issue the past several months. On the same night as Ashwaubenon’s meeting, a De Pere committee unanimously voted to not do anything with the deer in their area. It is a recommendation that the city council will still need to vote on.

“The community really told us with all the latest information that we got was they thought there were high numbers of deer, but they did not feel the deer were a problem at this time,” said Marty Kosobucki of De Pere’s parks, recreation, and forestry department.

De Pere officials say the herd could still be thinned using what’s referred to as, Act 71. That law says a person can crossbow hunt in city limits, as long as they aren’t within 100 yards of a residence or business and have the property owner’s permission.

“The community says they’re not a problem, so it’s not really my place to say we should be hunting them. It’s a personal decision quite honestly,” said Kosobucki.

Ashwaubenon officials say Act 71 isn’t much of an option for them considering how developed the community is. The village plans to use resident feedback to come up with a plan for the deer.

Allouez has also been dealing with the urban deer issue. The village’s director of parks and forestry tells FOX 11 the issue will be discussed at the end of the month. There could also be a public meeting.

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