Chadron’s deer management program to kill deer to reduce the number inside the city limits has worked so well its first 2 years it’s being put on the shelf for now..
Nebraska Game and Parks wildlife biologist Rick Arnold says a Dec 2019 survey identified 336 deer in and around Chadron, causing damage to vegetation and even structures while posing an increased risk to drivers.
The management program using police officers and Nebraska Game and Parks personnel to cull the herd, starting with the weakest and sickliest, killed 82 deer in 2021, its first year, and another 36 this year.
A survey after the first year showed the number of deer dropped to 226, and although no survey could be done after this year’s cut, Arnold is confident the number has dropped even more, both because of the actual kills and the impact on other deer.
Arnold admits numbers may also be down because mild winters allowed the deer to remain up in the Pine Ridge.
Arnold says although the deer management plan and culling are on “hiatus,” they’ll be brought back if needed.
A side benefit of the deer management plan was that most of the deer culled were healthy, allowing their meat to be given away. As a result, 44 families have received venison in the past 2 years from the city.