Frequently Asked Questions
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Why is it necessary to reduce the size of Mt. Lebanon's deer herd?
Wildlife experts have determined that there are more deer per square mile than the community can accommodate. An overabundance of deer in a highly developed area such as Mt. Lebanon leads to property damage and an increase in vehicular collisions. Too many deer per square mile also means that there is not enough food to support the deer population.
Who made the decision to cull the herd, and was the public consulted?
The decision to control the size of the deer herd was made by Mt. Lebanon’s elected officials after extensive study by the Public Works Department, which will oversee deer management. There were many public meetings that provided an opportunity for the public to comment, as well as a public hearing on the subject. The deer management issue also has been featured prominently in Mt. Lebanon magazine. Questions and answers and the proposed plan have been posted on the municipal website for many months. The daily newspapers also have followed the issue closely.
What options were considered?
Before making a decision, municipal staff and commissioners talked with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which uses trained sharpshooters, and with Whitetail Management Associates, which uses bow hunters. In addition, they consulted an expert in deer birth control. Officials determined that the USDA program would be the most appropriate, cost effective method for Mt. Lebanon.
When will the plan be implemented?
The deer management initiative took place the winter of 2006-2007.
Who will carry out the deer management plan?
Certified wildlife biologists and professional field technicians who have been qualified by the USDA and do this work as a living will cull the herd.
How and where will the culling take place?
The USDA specialists will work in municipal parks at night, using rifles. Accompanied by a public works employee, they will set out bait for the deer and then shoot from elevated positions, ensuring that the bullets will not stray beyond the targets. Rifles equipped with sound suppressors will be used to ensure that the noise has a minimum affect on the surrounding community.
What will happen to the carcasses?
The carcasses will be removed immediately and the meat donated to area food banks.
Will USDA specialist be removing deer from private property?
No, not without a signed authorization from the property owner. If you are interested in having deer culled or trapped on your property, then please call the Mt. Lebanon Public Works Department at 412-343-3403 for more details.
Did Mt. Lebanon need permission to proceed with deer management?
In order to proceed with deer management, Mt. Lebanon had to submit an eight-point plan to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, covering topics such as public education, deer density surveys and collection of deer-vehicle collision data. The complete plan and the provisions of the contract Mt. Lebanon signed with USDA are available.
How can we be sure this method is safe for residents?
The USDA wildlife experts and field technicians have been using this method for many years to control various sorts of animal populations in many different environments. The USDA’s district supervisor told Mt. Lebanon Commissioners that there has never been an injury or a death as a result. The police will be notified of the exact times and locations.
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Mt. Lebanon, PA:
710 Washington Road | Pittsburgh, PA 15228-2018 | Ph: (412) 343-3400