Increasing deer population has McGregor residents concerned

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor residents are losing their yards to an ever-growing deer population.

“We’re getting overrun,” said Bob Pruett, who spoke at the McGregor City Council meeting Oct. 19. “It’s an increasing problem. Something has to be done.”

The city is sympathetic to Pruett’s and other residents’ claims. In August and September, the council discussed possible options for managing McGregor’s deer population, including creating an ordinance that would allow for a special archery hunt for hunters with permits. 

The council supported the plan as long as the Iowa DNR agreed to participate, both in qualifying hunters and in allowing permitted hunting on state ground located within city limits. So far, though, Pikes Peak has not committed to having a managed hunt.

Without DNR participation, said council members, the hunt would be ineffective. Per regulations, hunters must be 200 feet from a house or building.

“How many city properties have that?” questioned councilman Charlie Carroll. “It’s very limited.”

“There’s a tremendous amount of state ground in town,” added city administrator Lynette Sander, citing locations such as near Turner Park and in the McGregor Heights. “There are plenty of places for deer to hide. If you can’t hunt on park property in the city, it’s tough; they’re just going to go in the woods.”

Until the park gets onboard, the city’s hands are tied, said mayor Harold Brooks.

“If we can get the DNR onboard, I think we can get something accomplished,” he stated.

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