Colorado Springs mulls deer cull with urban hunt
Colorado Springs could welcome urban hunters if city leaders agree with state wildlife officials that hunting could reduce car crashes and improve public safety. But the proposal is a stark contrast to other state efforts to protect deer.
The Gazette reports Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have met with concerned residents and law enforcement during the past year about the threat deer pose.
CPW area wildlife manager Frank McGee said he has met with four city council members and discussed using an urban hunting program like those in some rural Colorado communities to control the deer. Another option could be to recruit sharpshooters.
Wildlife officials earlier this month recommended urban hunting in Cañon City, which could join Salida and Buena Vista in allowing deer hunting in city limits. La Veta and Alamosa also invite hunters. For a fourth year, Elizabeth will issue permits to archers to thin the deer herd.
Colorado Springs animal rights supporters Diane Freed and Tinya Duffy told the Gazette they were astounded by the idea.
“I cannot imagine allowing firearms in the city limits. People can’t just be going around and be like, ‘Oops, I missed, I hit your windows.’ That’s ridiculous,” Freed said.
But a hunting program at the Air Force Academy has dramatically reduced the number of deer-auto collisions from nearly 200 per year to 20 or 30.
Wildlife biologists have raised concerns about declining deer populations statewide.
In December, CPW commissioners voted unanimously to embark on a $4.5 million predator-control experiment to kill mountain lions and bears in an effort to boost the deer population.