City of Helena concludes annual deer survey, awaits state direction on cull

Helena Police Department animal control officers recorded an average of 76 deer a night during its annual survey of deer within city limits conducted Oct. 11-18.

The data collected during the survey is sent to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, which in turn, uses it to provide an estimate of deer per square mile and an allotted number of deer to cull.

HPD has not yet received this season’s numbers from FWP, Chief Brett Petty said in an email Monday.

Last season’s density estimate was 64 deer per square mile, and the city adopted “socially tolerable density” is 25 deer per square mile.

During the 2021-2022 winter, it was estimated the city was home to 39.5 deer per square mile. FWP provided the city a quota to take 250 deer last season, the largest quota in the history of the program.

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