The City of Syracuse reported the results of its 2022 deer management program to the Syracuse Common Council on Wednesday. In the third year of the program, 92 deer were removed between December 2021 and March 2022. Deer management also occurred in five other municipalities: Camillus, Solvay, Dewitt, Fayetteville and Manlius.
“The overpopulation of deer in the city has created public health, safety and ecosystem challenges over many decades. With neighborhood and municipal cooperation, we’ve begun to make progress in reducing the impact of deer in many parts of the city,” Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said. “Addressing the problem citywide will take a sustained effort in Syracuse and in neighboring communities. For the safety and health of our residents, it is work we must pursue.”
The work in the city is completed by trained wildlife managers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA submitted a summary report to the City on June 2. The program provided more than 2,373 pounds of venison, equivalent to about 9,492 meals for donation.
USDA conducted its first deer management work in the city in the winter of 2020. 159 deer were removed over a four- month period. The COVID-19 pandemic shortened the season in the winter of 2021, the second year of the program, in which 65 deer were removed. 316 deer have been removed since 2019.
Deer management is one component of the City’s integrated Tick and Deer Management Plan. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh appointed a citizen’s advisory group to make recommendations on how to address the impacts of deer overpopulation, including deer-motor vehicle accidents; damage to the local ecosystem, gardens and parks; and public health risks such as Lyme Disease.
The long-term plan, authorized by Mayor Walsh and the Common Council, also recommends public outreach and education. Working with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County and with the support of Onondaga County, the City conducts tick-borne illness education programs. Onondaga County shares the cost of completing tick and deer management programs in the City and other municipalities.
Property owners who have a property they want to be considered for deer management activities can contact the Parks Department by phone at (315) 473-4330 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.