Mt. Lebanon deer reduction enters firearm phase – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


No news is good news on the Mt. Lebanon deer front.



Municipal manager Keith McGill said there were no incidents or complaints throughout the 2016-17 controlled archery hunt, which ended Saturday with the close of Pennsylvania’s final deer hunting season. The community’s seemingly quiet acquiescence to the deer-management program stands in contrast to the public outcry that came in the past.



“There’s been very little public comment, even at the public meetings,” said Mt. Lebanon spokeswoman Susan Morgans. “I don’t know what that means — people have moved on to other things? It’s been quiet.”





The official count of deer removed through the program will be announced at the next commissioners meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the municipal building.



In December, the state Commonwealth Court ruled that Mt. Lebanon and its contractor, White Buffalo, have no obligation to release the names of archers and landowners who’ve participated in the deer management program.



A Game Commission special permit authorizes that the second year of a rifle sharpshooting phase could have begun Wednesday, but Ms. Morgans said White Buffalo’s professional sharpshooters were not yet in town. Following two weeks of site baiting, the shooters will work from stationary elevated positions vetted by Mt. Lebanon police on private property and several public spaces — McNeilly Park, Robb Hollow Park and the adjacent Public Works yard, the conservation district on Connor Road and the municipal golf course.



On private land, shooters are permitted to fire from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week. On public land, they can shoot from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. The rifle cull continues through March 31. Venison is donated to the needy through Hunters Sharing the Harvest.



The wildlife management project was initiated by Mt. Lebanon commissioners to reduce deer-vehicle collisions by 50 percent in five years. Municipal police report those collisions have increased: 57 in 2014, 73 in 2015 and 122 in 2015. Dead deer pick-up by animal control has decreased: 106 in 2014, 127 in 127, 88 in 2016.



John Hayes: 412-263-1991, jhayes@post-gazette.com.

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