NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While many people may enjoy deer sightings, they’re becoming an issue in Sumner County. As their numbers grow, officials are looking to the community for input on how best to solve the problem.
A recent deer population survey by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows the deer population in Hendersonville is two to four times the state average. The problem of overpopulation is an ongoing issue, in large part due to no place for them to go based on Hendersonville’s location.
“We’ve seen the growth exponentially in the last few years,” said Mark Burgdorf, the aldermen of Ward 1 for the city of Hendersonville. “Urban sprawl is something that has run the deer out of their natural environment, their natural habitat.”
More deer in the area is also the result of residents feeding them.
“If we continue to feed the deer, the population will continue to grow because deer are naturalist, so to speak. So if a doe can handle the population in the area and the food in the area, can handle twins and triplets, a doe will have twins and triplets, and that’s part of the problem because of the abundance of food,” said Burgdorf.
With the increase, members of the city’s deer committee said they must do something. There is now consideration for killing around 30% of the deer, an idea some are not fond of, but others say could be necessary.
“Property damage number one. Number two, they can do property damage crossing roads. Cars will run into them. They can do property damage that way. Number three, if a car hits a deer, that doesn’t always kill it. More deer in a concentrated area can increase the disease that deer carry,” said Burgdorf.
Officials said the goal is not to remain stagnant and work to address the issue based on a survey residents can complete on the city’s website by Saturday, Oct. 14 to help guide the decision-making process. As far as the budget for the task after all of the information is collected, officials said they are still in the planning phase.
“We’re still trying to come up with an idea of what the dollar figure will be; we’ll have to contract for whatever we do, sterilization, relocation or evacuation,” said Burgdorf.