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City gets grant to continue deer, goose control efforts

Feb. 13, 2013
 
Whitetail deer on and around the Vulcan Quarry property on Oshkosh's west side have been the source of complaints from residents about damage to yards and trees.
Whitetail deer on and around the Vulcan Quarry property on Oshkosh's west side have been the source of complaints from residents about damage to yards and trees. / Oshkosh Northwestern Media file photo

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MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reimburse the city of Oshkosh $5,000 for its continuing efforts to control the city’s whitetail deer and Canada goose populations.

The reimbursement is the maximum amount the DNR awards annually to several qualifying municipalities seeking help in managing nuisance resident geese and urban deer.

Responding to residents’ complaints, Oshkosh has implemented control measures on non-migratory geese since the 1990s and on deer since 2008, said Parks Director Ray Maurer.

Coating eggs with oil to prevent hatching and removing adult geese from the parks when they moult and are flightless have been the most effective controls measures to date, Maurer said.

The city has three distinct deer herds, one in the Vulcan Quarry-Osborn Avenue area, which has generated the most property damage complaints, a more mobile north-side herd found in the area of the Winnebago County landfill, and a south-side herd that primarily inhabits the Experimental Aircraft Association property.

Deer control measures include hiring sharpshooters to reduce herd sizes after problem areas have been identified, he said

“It takes a few years to see any measurement of success but based on complaints being down if not the number of deer, too, then things are working,” Maurer said.

Maurer said the Urban Wildlife Committee solicited citizen input to lessen criticism about shooting deer within city limits and recommended plans that were adopted by the city council.

Meat harvested in the control efforts is donated to food pantries, he said.

An aerial photography firm will be contracted either this winter or next to determine where the most deer reside and to concentrate control measures, Maurer said.

The DNR grant reimburses select cities with identified nuisance wildlife populations for expenditures made in deer and geese control efforts.

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