Oxford may turn to bow hunters to control deer population

By Chip Washington - bio | email

OXFORD, MS (WMC-TV) - Residents of Oxford, Mississippi may be forced to take drastic measures to combat a rising deer population.

"Everything we interact with on a daily basis, deer are exposed to, so they've lost their fear," Jimmy Allgood, Oxford's Director of Emergency Management, said Wednesday.

The influx of deer is being blamed for an increase in residential damage to trees and shrubs across Oxford. Car accidents involving deer have also increased.  To that end, Allgood has proposed a deer management plan to Oxford's Board of Aldermen.

"A bow harvest or hunting type season to harvest the deer, or a set number of deer within the city to help manage the population," he said.

In essence, a trained and licensed designated bow hunter would be assigned to a parceled landowner. Allgood said prospective hunters would have to pass an extensive written and shooting test along, with a background check, in order to be assigned an area.

Resident Butch Stanley endorses the idea.

"Your also gonna make them a lot less visible, and maybe back some of them out of the city where they can roam and not interfere with everyday life," he said.

Allgood's plan calls for the elimination of 200 deer per season.  If his plan works in Oxford, he hopes it will be a model for deer control across the state of Mississippi.

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