Historical Deer Management Information
Update - 6/21/2021
Deer Management Update (February 25, 2020)
The 2019-2020 Deer Management Program has concluded.
Final Sharpshooting Report - February 25, 2020
2019-2020 ARCHERY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FINAL REPORT
FAQs Comprehensive Deer Management Professional Sharpshooting 2020
Mt. Lebanon Commission has authorized an archery hunt by Suburban Wildlife Management Solutions, LLC (SWMS) as part of an ongoing deer management effort. The program will run September 21, 2019, through January 25, 2020, with a holiday break from November 29 to December 25. Landowners interested in donating their private property for the 2019-2020 hunt should contact the contractor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Assistant Manager Ian McMeans, email@example.com or 412-343-3620.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the archery portion of Mt. Lebanon’s annual deer management program
Deer Management Program Summary Report - June 11, 2019
Deer Pick-up/Vehicle Data
Deer Management Update (May 3, 2019)
Deer Management Update (March 15, 2019)
Deer Management Update (February 18, 2019)
Deer Management Update (February 1, 2019)
Deer Management Update (August 22, 2018)
Deer Management Update (March 23, 2018)
Deer Management Update (February 27, 2018)
Deer Management Update (January 29, 2018)
The controlled archery hunt for the 2017-2018 season has concluded. The municipality will post the final report on the website when it is received. Additionally, please be advised that the sharpshooting program will be conducted between February 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018. Please see the FAQs for additional information.
Deer Management Update (January 16, 2018)
Deer Management Update (June 29, 2017)
Deer Management Update (February 27, 2017)
Deer Management Update (February 23, 2017)
SHARPSHOOTING HAS CONCLUDED. The sharpshooting phase of this year's deer management program has ended because of the unseasonably warm weather, which is projected to continue. There has been diminished activity at bait sights because deer now have other food sources, so the municipality cut the program short rather than expend additional funds for what would be a diminishing return. Under the contract, either party has the right to end the program with notice; payment is only for time and materials expended as of the date the program ends. The municipality and White Buffalo, the contractor, agreed that ending the program now was the most fiscally responsible course of action. White Buffalo will provide a final report in the near future, which will be posted here.
Deer Management Update (February 15, 2017)
Technicians will work on private property seven days a week beginning at 4 p.m. and concluding by 11:00 p.m. They will work in the identified public parks Monday through Friday only, beginning at 6 p.m. and concluding by 11:00 p.m.
Deer Management Update (February 14, 2017)
Controlled Archery Hunt: 2016-2017 Season: White Buffalo, Inc., a wildlife management firm, was hired to screen, train and manage the archers who conducted a bow hunt last fall. The archers were required to show experience through harvest verification and were required to have a Bow Hunter Education Certification before beginning. The hunt took place on the following public properties: Conservation District (Connor/Terrace Road), Golf Course, McNeilly Park, Twin Hills and Robb Hollow Park as well as the adjacent public works property. Off-duty police officers were the only hunters permitted to hunt on public properties. In addition, interested residents worked directly with White Buffalo to donate their properties for the program. A total of 36 deer were removed through this program. Total cost: $9,000.
Deer Management Update (January 24, 2017)
Deer Management Update (December 2, 2016)
Deer Management Update (October 10, 2016)
Video excerpt from a seminar on pest and deer management by Jessica Walliser, co-host of “The Organic Gardeners” on KDKA-Radio in Pittsburgh, PA and hosted by the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.
Deer Management Update (October 3, 2016)
Effective today, Twin Hills Park has been added to the list of public properties that are being utilized in the controlled archery hunt program. All other program information remains the same. Complete FAQ available here.
Deer Management Update (September 2, 2016)
Deer Management Update (August 10, 2016)
Mt. Lebanon Commission has authorized an archery hunt as part of an ongoing deer management effort. The program will begin September 17, 2016, and continue through January 28, 2017, with a break between November 27 and Christmas.
Deer Management Update (July 20, 2016)
To help the Commission make informed decisions about deer management, the municipality began collecting data and assessing options more than four years ago. The staff began tracking the number of police reports involving deer-car traffic incidents. The first full-year data was collected in 2012. Between 2013 and 2015, reported deer-car incidents increased from 43 in 2013 to 73 in 2015—a 66 percent increase. During that same time period, the number of reports the Police Department and Animal Control received related to injured/dead deer in roadways and yards increased as well and the number of requests for dead deer pickups more than doubled— from 48 in 2008 to 127 in 2015.
In early 2014, the Commission established a goal to reduce deer-car incidents by 50 percent over the next five years. This goal provides a focus that helps guide decisions as we move forward. Achieving this goal requires a multi-pronged approach. Over the past three years, the Commission has collected and evaluated information and advice from experts, and has taken many well-considered actions intended to achieve our deer management goal. The actions are summarized below:
In addition to these measures, the Commission has listened to a presentation on motion and auditory deterrents to deer. Such deterrents can be effective initially, but since deer are highly adaptable, they quickly become used to deterrents, making the devices less effective over time. A neighboring community installed a “Streiter-Lite” system from 1999 to 2003 but removed the system in 2003 after determining it had not been effective in reducing deer vehicular collisions.
Deer Management Update (July 12, 2016)
Deer Management Update (July 6, 2016)
Deer Management Update (March 21, 2016)
Deer Management Update (February 23, 2016 updated March 18, 2016)
Deer Management Update (February 17, 2016)
- Botstiber Foundation letter re: Deer Sterilization Research Project
- PA Game Commission Response re: Deer Sterilization Research Project
Deer Management Update (January 21, 2016)
White Buffalo Inc. will conduct a deer cull using trained sharpshooters. The following documents review the sharpshooting cull taking place from February 1 through March 31, 2016.
Maps indicating the required gun free zone around schools:
Deer Management Update (January 13, 2016)
The following documents contain updated information regarding deer management:
- PowerPoint presentation by Dr. DeNicola on January 12, 2016 at Commission Meeting
- Amended permit from the PA Game Commission to allow the placement of bait beginning January 24, 2016 and sharpshooting to begin February 1, 2016.
- Humane Society response regarding Deer Fertility Control Project
Deer Management Update (January 5, 2016)
The following documents contain updated information regarding deer management:
- Amended Permit
- Archery Harvest Breakdown 2015-2016
- Deer V. Vehicle Crash by month (1-1-13 - 12-14-15) updated
- DeNicola response to resident questions (12-23-15)
- WB Sharpshooting protocols
- WBI Sharpshooting Summary 12 Jan 2016
Deer Management Update (December 11, 2015)
Mt. Lebanon has received its deer control/political subdivision permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The permit will allow the municipality to proceed with Phase Two of the 2015-2016 deer management program pending final approval by the Commission in January. During Phase Two, scheduled to run from February 1, 2016, to March 1, 2016, White Buffalo Inc. will conduct a deer cull using trained sharpshooters on designated public land and on donated private properties.
Deer Management Update (November 23, 2015)
View locations where deer signs have been installed.
Deer Management Update (October 27, 2015)
DRIVE CAREFULLY; WATCH FOR DEER
Deer are active this time of year. Please stay safe and help Mt. Lebanon reduce deer0vehicular crashes by following the suggestions of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and PennDOT. Visit their websites below:
Deer Management Update (October 8, 2015)
Below see the sharp shooting RFP issued by the municipality as well as the response received from White Buffalo Inc. This issue will be discussed at the Commission Discussion Session on October 13, 2015.
- Request for Proposals For a White-tailed Deer Management Program
- Utilizing Sharpshooting within the Municipality of Mt. Lebanon
Below is the information that White Buffalo presented to the Commission at the September 8th discussion session detailing the process utilized in screening and selecting the archers participating in the deer management archery program approved by the Commission as well as other program details.
For the approved public areas; The conservation area at Connor and Terrace, the wooded portions of the public golf course, Twin Hills Park, the McNeilly Road park property and Robb Hollow Park and public works section of Robb Hollow Park, only archers who are also police officers are authorized to hunt in these public areas.
The stated goal of the Commission is to reduce deer vehicular collisions by 50% over the next 5 years. That said, an overabundance of deer create issues related to the under story and general environmental health of our parks and open spaces.
Deer Management Update (September 17, 2015)
At a public meeting on September 8, 2015, the Mt. Lebanon Commission authorized a Deer Management Program archery management program. For additional information please read our Frequently Asked Questions related to deer management. Also available for review is the notification sent to the School District regarding Deer Management.
Deer Management Update (August 25, 2015)
White Buffalo Inc, the wildlife management firm hired to screen, train and manage archers who will conduct a bow hunt this fall, has concluded recruiting hunters. The archers, who will hunt up to 12 hours a week, were required to show experience through harvest verification and will need to have a Bow Hunter Education Certification before they can begin. Applicants who made an inquiry to White Buffalo by July 28 will be sent an application.
White Buffalo Inc. has enough properties in the pipeline to proceed with the hunt. At this point they are only considering properties with a minimum of one acre, or properties that are near ravines, power lines, or other areas with at least 1/2 acre of woods or heavy vegetation. Informational meetings were held in the commission chamber of the municipal building Saturday, August 15, at 10 a.m. and Monday, August 17, at 7 p.m. View the presentation here. Residents also may contact White Buffalo directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (please add to your address book to avoid responses going to spam) or applying online at http://www.whitebuffaloinc.org/#!contact/c1z0x. Please type "Mt. Lebanon Archery Program" in the subject line of the online form and complete the rest of the information requested. Properties in dense residential areas with few trees will not be suitable for the program. Please do not contact Mt. Lebanon Municipality directly.
White Buffalo representatives plan to attend the September 8 commission discussion meeting at 6:30 to describe the final program, including the backgrounds of the manager and hunters, the number of public and private properties to be used and the safety procedures that will be required. Click here to review the contract detailing the June 30, 2015 deer management proposal.
Deer PowerPoint Presentations
The following are the PowerPoint documents that were presented at the Commissioner work session and discussion on a goal to improve Deer Management held on Monday June 22, 2015 at the Mount Lebanon High School Fine Arts Theater. The PowerPoint presentations are best utilized as supporting materials to be viewed in conjunction with the video recording of the meeting, which can be viewed by clicking the following link: View the June 22nd Work Session Video 1. General Overview of Deer Management in Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair- Brief history, reports/statistics, deer/vehicular collisions, (Keith McGill, Municipal Planner)
2. General problems with deer, Pennsylvania Game Commission approach, where to get accurate info, need for a management plan and why deer numbers are not appropriate for management decisions in these areas. (Jeannine Fleegle, Wildlife Biologist, Pennsylvania Game Commission)
3. Development of a deer management plan and discussion of suburban “managed hunts” utilizing recreational archers (Jody Maddock, Director of Campus Services Bryn Athyn College)
4. Sterilization/Contraception, costs/issues, status of response to previous PGC questions and other deer management issues. (Dr Anthony DeNicola, Founder/President, White Buffalo Inc.)
The first of three special sessions where the Commission will review and refine its goals is Monday, June 22, at 6 p.m. at Mt. Lebanon High School Fine Arts Theater. The topic is deer management. Other sessions will be Monday, July 27, at 6 p.m. on pedestrian/vehicle safety (location to be announced) and on Saturday, August 8, at 8:30 a.m. on financial trends/public outreach (location to be announced). All meetings will be taped and webcast the following day.
Earlier this year, the Commission agreed to make these four topics high priorities. The purpose of these special sessions is to allow the Commissioners to have in-depth conversations about complex topics and give invited experts adequate time to serve as resources.
The June 22 meeting on deer management will feature several speakers who are considered to be experts in various methods of deer management that have been used in Pennsylvania or might be considered for use here in the future,
Please note: These are work sessions. The public is welcome to attend and listen, but there will be NO OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. Residents may comment on any of the issues at regularly scheduled commission meetings.
“Deer Doctor” to Speak in Mt. Lebanon
Consultant Sandy Baker, who some call the “deer doctor” will visit Mt. Lebanon Saturday, April 25, through Monday, April 27, to speak with residents and elected officials about deer-deterrent strategies as part of a comprehensive deer management plan.
Baker, author of How to Deer-Proof Your Garden in Five Easy Steps, is a life-long organic gardener, has owned a retail greenhouse/nursery and currently is a consultant to the Humane Society of the United States. Based in New York, she is well known for her leadership in the areas of wildlife and environmental protection and has presented seminars to garden clubs, at garden shows and to master gardeners around the country.
Baker’s visit to Mt. Lebanon will include a hands-on presentation on gardening at Earth Day in Mt. Lebanon Park, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. She will tour Mt. Lebanon neighborhoods Sunday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Free seminars are set for the Mt. Lebanon Public Library Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m. and Monday, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
No registration is necessary for any of the events.
DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE
Mt. Lebanon’s spring deer management program, which was to have run through March 31, has ended, and the corrals have been removed from five local park areas.
Using the capture and euthanize method, Mt. Lebanon had hoped to cull 150 of the community’s estimate of 400-500 deer, in an effort to approach the goal of reducing deer/vehicular crashes by 50 percent within five years. Only six deer were killed utilizing the corrals.
Mt. Lebanon implemented the capture and euthanize program as part of a multi-year approach to deer management, and after it became impossible to proceed with a planned bow hunt program. The method was approved and deemed safe by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Even though the number of deer culled did not approach Mt. Lebanon’s goal, the Game Commission’s deer biologists, which monitored the process, were satisfied with the functionality of the system and feel this method will be a viable option in the future of urban deer management in Pennsylvania.
Wildlife Specialists, which was contracted to cull up to 150 deer at $500 apiece, began the program March 10 and chose to end it early because of several factors, according to a letter from the firm’s president, Merlin Benner, which thanked police for their cooperation and urged that a deer management plan continue.
The factors Benner cited that made it impossible to achieve the program’s goals included the fact that the cull began much later than the expected early February start date. In addition, the weather warmed almost as soon as the program began, leading to an immediate drop in the number of deer entering the corrals for food. Finally, direct sabotage of the corrals and disruption of the animals in the areas surrounding the corrals led to fewer deer entering the corrals.
Photos taken by the Game Commission of trapped deer showed no signs of panic or self-inflicted injury. All deer killed were delivered to a processor for processing, storage, and ultimately, delivery to a charitable food pantry as required by the permit.
Mt. Lebanon’s Commission will continue to consult with experts and engage residents to evaluate all available deer management options in the near future, including non-lethal and lethal methods.
PERMIT ISSUED FOR DEER MANAGEMENT
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has issued a permit to Mt. Lebanon to use the capture and euthanize method of reducing the deer population. Wildlife specialists will be conducting the program in five public park areas through March 31.
The capture and euthanize program is part of Mt. Lebanon’s comprehensive deer management plan. Wildlife Specialists, a natural resource consulting company based in Wellsboro, Pa., headed by certified wildlife biologist Merlin Benner will perform this service. All members of Benner’s team have extensive experience in wildlife management and are permitted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The five public park areas where the corral traps—six sided enclosures with 8-foot-high fences—will be placed are: McNeilly, Bird, Robb Hollow park, Mt. Lebanon Golf Course and the Connor Road conservation district. All five areas will remain open during the day.
The traps will be baited and monitored remotely by camera. When a group of deer enters the trap, the gate will close remotely, and a team of trained professionals will be dispatched immediately to euthanize the deer using suppressed, small-caliber rifles at close range, mostly at night. The method is considered to be very safe, and people should not hear any loud noises from these activities.
The contractor will post signs indicating the perimeter of the area where traps have been placed. Stay out of the posted work areas, and report any suspicious activity by calling 911. Please remember that all of these park areas close to the public at 9 p.m.
RFP - Trap & Euthanize Program
FAQ's about the Capture and Euthanize Project
A: The overall goal of Mt. Lebanon’s deer management program is to reduce deer/vehicle collisions within the municipality by 50 percent within five years. The capture and euthanize phase for 2015 will take place in February and March.
Q: Who determined the goals and the course of actions?
A: The Mt. Lebanon Municipal Commission, representing the residents, voted to trap and euthanize as part of the comprehensive deer management plan. They received much input from residents at public meetings and other means and also solicited input from a variety of professionals and interest groups.
Q: Explain the methods to be used. Why is trap and euthanize effective?
A: Corral traps will be built and baited in safe public areas over a period of several days. The bait will attract deer to the corrals. Trail cameras will monitor the corrals, sending real-time images to the trappers. When large groups of deer are inside a corral, a text message will activate the closure of the gate. Immediately, a crew will dispatch to shoot the deer using suppressed, small-caliber rifles. Most of the shooting will take place at night. This method should be more effective at capturing large numbers of deer than either the clover traps, which capture single deer at a time, or possibly even sharpshooting, where larger groups of deer can’t be taken without the possibility of some escaping.
Q: What will happen to the deer meat?
A: Euthanized deer will be taken to a local processor, which will process and package the meat and deliver it to local food banks and shelters through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program.
Q: Who is conducting this project, and what are their qualifications?
A: Wildlife Specialists, LLC, has been selected to provide the capture and euthanization services. The company has a strong team of wildlife professionals who have broad experience within Pennsylvania and beyond. All individuals assisting with this project in the field are permitted through the Pennsylvania Game Commission to conduct these activities. For more information on Wildlife Specialists, visit their site at www.wildlife-specialists.com.
Q: Why is this being done instead of hunting?
A: As first step in its deer management program, Mt. Lebanon had planned to conduct an archery hunt but was unable to get the program in place this season in time to obtain the required permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The high density of homes in Mt. Lebanon and the Safety Zone requirements for hunting in Pennsylvania make hunting, when not combined with other methods, a ineffective option for achieving a meaningful reductions of the deer population here. Mt. Lebanon does intend to use limited archery hunting to supplement the deer control program in future deer hunting seasons.
Q: Why can’t the deer be captured and transferred to another location?
A: The Pennsylvania Game Commission and similar wildlife agencies across the United States have decided to discourage the transfer of white-tailed deer for many reasons. The primary reason is to minimize the spread of diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease. Other reasons include not transferring problems of deer overabundance from one area to another. Often people cite low deer populations in another area as being a reason to move deer into those habitats, but most often those low populations are a result of poor habitat caused by historically unbalanced deer herds, where the high populations degraded the habitat, and the habitat is taking time to recover.
Q: Is this method more humane than other options?
A: The stress on the deer will be minimized by not handling them (which is inherent to other capture methods or even tranquilization) and because the shooting will take place under the cover of darkness. Death will be immediate and painless. The very close range will prevent misses or wounding.
For additional information on white-tailed deer or municipal deer control, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website at www.pgc.state.pa.us.
EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT DEER ISSUES IN MT. LEBANON.
Deer Management Status Report
Municipal Archery Program
Municipal Archery Program Hunting Maps
These are LARGE files. They may take some time to download, please be patient.
Deer Infrared Fly Over - May 2014
Deer Management Plan - November 2014
Analysis of Deer Management Options Final Report - September 2014
White Tailed Deer Population Control Options Report - September 2013
Deer Infrared Fly Over - June 2013
Mt. Lebanon Final Deer Report - June 2013
Deer Incident Report - May 2011 - May 2013
Exhibit 1 - Game Commission Political Subdivisions Guidelines
Exhibit 2 - Deer Population Cooperative Service Agreement and Survey Findings
Exhibit 3 - USDA CSA for Deer Management Plan
Exhibit 4 - Approved Deer Management Plan
Exhibit 5 - USDA Agreement for Culling and Trapping 1/31/2007
Exhibit 6 - 2007 Game Commission Special Use Permit 2/16/2007
Exhibit 7 - 2007 USDA Agreement for Control of Animal Damage on Non-Private Property
Exhibit 8 - 2007 USDA Firearms Use and Safety Guidelines
Exhibit 9 - 2007 USDA Activities Report
Exhibit 10 - 2008 USDA Culling and Trapping Agreement
Exhibit 11 - 2008 USDA Activities Report
Exhibit 12 - 2008 Recommendations for Long Term Deer Management
Exhibit 13 - Animal Control Statistics 2000-2011
Exhibit 14 - Public Meetings on Deer Management Plan and Activities
Exhibit 15 - Deer Population Survey Proposals 2008
Exhibit 16 - Information from Other Deer Population Control Organizations
Exhibit 17 - Q & A and Correspondence To Concerned Residents
Other - Various Newspaper Articles 2005-2008
Enclosure 1 - Managing White-Tailed Deer in Suburban Environments
Enclosure 2 - An Evaluation of Deer Management Options
Enclosure 3 - Deer, Communities & Quality of Life
Enclosure 4 - Learning by Doing: Deer Management in Urban and Suburban Communities
Enclosure 5 - 2012 Deer Management Survey of South Hills Communities
White Tail Deer Behavior & Deer Management
Avoiding deer/vehicular crashes
Deer in the Garden & Yard
Humane Population Control Methods