Video by Tom George/CNS-TV
ROCKVILLE, Md. – The start of fall in Maryland brings a change in the weather, falling leaves and increasing encounters with deer. In Montgomery County, officials say they’re trying to cope with an overpopulation of deer which has also resulted in an increase in Lyme disease.
Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio created a deer task force and solicited city residents for their ideas on how to address the problem. Some of the options being considered include use of birth control and thinning the population through a controlled hunt.
Marcuccio says she’s received hundreds of letters with most making it clear that the one thing they don’t want is for the deer to be killed. Residents say they are concerned about the possibility of hunting near their neighborhoods.
One existing Montgomery County program donates venison to local food banks from deer killed in controlled hunts. County deer donation coordinator Joe Brown says the program has been a big success. In the last season alone, the program resulted in more than eight tons of donated meat.
“There’s nothing that gives me any more satisfaction than knowing that the animal that I harvest will actually go and help somebody else nourish their families,” says Steve Cononie, who hunts as a hobby in his free time and has donated deer to the program.
The Rockville City Council plans on making its final recommendations at a council meeting on October 24.