Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

The Lancer Feed

Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

The Lancer Feed

Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

The Lancer Feed

Due to a shortage of ten custodians, custodian Andrew Doyle begins his after school shift after being rehired to Lafayette from Crestview Middle School three months ago. “We are very short handed. It affects us by more than 50%,” Doyle said.
Support staff openings create additional responsibilities for current staff
May 16, 2024
Print Editions

Deer overpopulation leads to action from Wildwood

In+the+5.5+square+mile+area+that+was+being+focused+on%2C+there+was+an+average+population+density+of+71.5+deer+per+square+mile%2C+with+some+places+having+up+to+94.5+deer+per+square+mile.+According+to+the+Missouri+Department+of+Conservation%2C+across+the+state+there+is+an+average+of+10-40+deer+per+square+mile.+After+Wildwoods+culling+operation%2C+roughly+54+deer+were+removed+per+square+mile+from+the+5.5+mile+area.+
Maddy Cox
In the 5.5 square mile area that was being focused on, there was an average population density of 71.5 deer per square mile, with some places having up to 94.5 deer per square mile. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, across the state there is an average of 10-40 deer per square mile. After Wildwood’s culling operation, roughly 54 deer were removed per square mile from the 5.5 mile area.

Deer overpopulation has become an increasing concern for Wildwood residents. In a survey run by The City of Wildwood, 72.6% of residents said that the local deer population was too high.

The overpopulation of deer has caused a number of problems for the Wildwood community including car accidents, medical issues and danger to other animals. 

“Deer can transmit various diseases to humans, livestock and pets,” the City of Wildwood said on its website. “Rising deer populations correlate with increasing disease cases.” 

With the population density of deer increasing, the chances for deer-caused car crashes have also grown.

“These incidents burden first responders and result in costs for the City and private citizens,” the City of Wildwood said.

Lafayette students have also experienced problems with deer. Sophomore Danny Kerns recently got into an accident because of a deer.  

“I was driving on the street and it was rainy and then a deer jumped out in front of me. I slammed on my brakes but because it was raining, my brakes locked up and I slid into a pole,” Kerns said.

The deer died on impact and Kerns’ truck was damaged. 

“I took it to the body shop and they wanted $3,000, so I did it myself for $300. So it wasn’t that bad,” Kerns said. 

As for the deer, since it died on the spot, Kerns decided to harvest it’s meat and use it’s fur.

Junior Hunter Alver has seen a large deer population while out hunting. 

“There’s deer all over. In one sitting I have seen up to 50 deer,” Alver said. 

Eventually, complaints and concerns from locals led to the creation of The City of Wildwood Deer Management Committee in 2019. 

According to their website, DMC aims to develop and research ways to manage the overpopulation of deer in Wildwood. In June 2023, the city approved of a culling operation to reduce the white-tailed deer population in Wildwood.  

“Culling operations were strategically carried out within the Northeast 1 area (NE1) from Jan. 16 to Feb. 10, 2024, to address the overpopulation of white-tailed deer in our community,” the City of Wildwood said on their website. 

Culling means to reduce or control the size of a population by hunting/slaughtering especially weak or sick individuals.  

For the culling operation, the City has hired White Buffalo Inc., a non-profit deer management company. The company has been hired to cull up to 300 deer in a 5.5-mile radius. 

After all of the efforts to decrease the deer population, White Buffalo released results regarding the operation. 

White Buffalo successfully reached their goal and culled exactly 300 deer. 

The harvested deer were donated to Share The Harvest, a local food pantry, and 81 deer were donated to the Saint Louis Zoo’s Red Wolf Recovery Program. 

Though the culling operation was successful, Kerns thinks the problem is far from over.

“[Wildwood] doesn’t have raw numbers. So, the companies can report how many they harvest, but Wildwood doesn’t know how many they should harvest, because it would be physically impossible to count how many deer there are,” Kerns said. 

Kerns believes a better way to reduce the deer population is to change the hunting laws around deer and make bow hunting more accessible. 

“I think even though it’s safer in Missouri because you know what you’re shooting, they should open up more public, bow season, and also I think they should decrease the amount of acres you have to own to hunt,” Kerns said. 

While Kerns says these are potential solutions, he doesn’t think there is any way to solve the problem permanently.

“There isn’t a solution because you’re coexisting with animals and plants. I think that honestly it’s a problem here to stay, you’re not going to be able to deal with it,” Kerns said.

City Council member, Col. Rob Jakcsy said the operation was a success.

“This was our first time doing it, and [the city council] were looking forward to seeing what the results were, we haven’t gotten a chance to see the [long-term] results, but we overall think it was successful,” Jakcsy said.

While Wildwood doesn’t have a set plan for the future, Jascky hopes that the culling operation continues, as over five regions of the City are still overpopulated with deer.

 

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Lancer Feed
$2500
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will allow our student journalists to continue their work. You may become a PATRON by making a donation at one of these levels: White/$30, Black/$50, Gold/$100. Patron names will be published in the print newsmagazine, on the website and once per quarter on our social media accounts.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Rishit Sohaney
Rishit Sohaney, News Staff
Grade: Sophomore Pronouns: He/Him Years on Staff: 2 Hobbies and Interests: soccer, running, listening to music Favorite Quote: "Work smarter not harder." Favorite Hot Take: Starbucks is overrated. Fun Fact: I speak two languages but understand five.
Theo Koury
Theo Koury, News Staff
Grade: Freshman Pronouns: He/Him Years on Staff: 0 Hobbies and Interests: Friends, Eating, Music, Football Favorite Quote: "For me, first of all, dopeness is what I like the most. Dopeness. People who want to make things as dope as possible, and, by default, make money from it." - Kanye West Favorite Hot Take: Being bloated feels good Fun Fact: I am secretly a shark
Maddy Cox
Maddy Cox, Asst. Editor in Chief
Grade: Junior Pronouns: She/Her Years on Staff: 1 Hobbies and Interests: reading, writing, Scooby Doo, and pre-2017 Barbie movies Favorite Quote: “Screw em if they can’t take a joke,” -Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia Favorite Hot Take: The Barbie movie isn’t misandrist we just live in an overly-normalized patriarchal society. Fun Fact: I believe in the Loch Ness monster, I think it is just an undiscovered species of marine life that we don’t know or understand yet.
Donate to The Lancer Feed
$2500
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

The Lancer Feed staff reserves the right to delete the contents of comments which it deems inappropriate. To write a letter to the editor, send us an email at [email protected] or contact any of our staff members through their emails found on the staff profile pages.
All The Lancer Feed Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Amy MatthesMay 14, 2024 at 5:51 pm

    What can you do if your neighbor feeds deer twice a day??

    Reply