Deer cull proposed as overpopulation threatens West TN neighborhoods

Wildlife groups plan special deer hunts to reduce overpopulation

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - Wildlife officials in West Tennessee say the deer population around Collierville needs to be thinned out.

Explosive growth in the Collierville area means the habitat for many deer is disappearing, forcing the animals into neighborhoods.

The Chickasaw Basin Authority has been studying a deer cull, or how to control the deer population, for roughly a year.

The deer cull is in its final planning stages and would take place near the Wolf River. It was proposed by residents in Collierville, who find the deer to be a menace.

"They'll come in, I know they eat flowers," resident Kathy Poole said.

Some deer have even been spotted on suburban streets.

"One of my friends was driving and it ran out into the road on Frank Road and hit and totaled her car," resident Lauren Cavanaugh said.

A CBA official said the deer are running out of food, and experts recommend thinning the herd 20 percent a year for 10 years. It will also prevent the spread of diseases.

If approved the cull will happen over two weekends: one in late October and the other in early December.

The hunts would involve bow and arrow only. Hunters can apply, and roughly 20-25 would be selected at random to participate.

"We kind of moved into their area," Poole said. "They were here first, so I have mixed emotions about it. You want to have safe neighborhoods, but the animal needs a safe neighborhood as well."

Collierville residents said they notice deer frequently, especially at dawn and dusk.

The CBA could formally approve the cull and make decisions on the dates of the hunts at their September meeting.

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