BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Concerns over the growing deer population in Baltimore County have lawmakers searching for last-minute answers. Amendments to existing laws must be made before a Monday night vote and there are still no clear-cut solutions.
Tim Williams has more.
Currently, most deer are hunted in rural areas. But increasingly in Maryland, managed hunts are being staged closer to developments and, for public safety reasons, late at night.
Baltimore County Council members are looking to amend a current bill and permit controlled deer hunts in specific public parks and areas.
“To basically thin out the herds because we do have a big issue with car accidents and the biggest issue of all is the environment. Unfortunately, the deer are just destroying our environment at this point,” said Councilman Todd Huff.
Huff is among those proposing the measure, designed to aid the Department of Natural Resources’ efforts of herd control.
“Sterilization has been mentioned to me as an option. The problem is, the problem is here and now,” he said.
“We really wanted to bring something to suburban communities where weapons and guns and bows and arrows aren’t appropriate in neighborhoods,” said Enid Feinberg, who opposes deer hunting.
Feinberg supports sterilization and says proposed changes don’t address her primary concern: “the slaughter of defenseless deer.”
Thirty-two deer near Loch Raven were effectively spayed last winter.
“Even if they only had one fawn each, that’s 32 fawns that wouldn’t have been born and if you look at that over a deer’s reproductive life, which is approximately eight to eight and a half years, so now you have another 200 to 300 fawns that aren’t going to be born,” she said.
The amendment will also mandate advanced public notice.
The vote is May 2.
Anne Arundel County considered a similar measure two years ago. Montgomery and Howard counties have had such measures in place for 15 years.