FWP approves removal of 250 Helena deer, the biggest quota to date

Nolan Lister

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks authorized the Helena Police Department’s animal control division to remove 250 deer from within city limits.

The city’s pair of animal control officers conducted urban deer counts during October as part of a culling program that began in 2008. That data was sent to FWP for review.

FWP Area Wildlife Biologist Jenni Sika said the deer survey results and past years’ data contributed to this year’s quota, the largest in the program’s history.

“The deer counts that were conducted in October of this year came in higher than previous years,” city spokesman Jacob Garcin said in an email.

The city’s allotted number of deer to cull has never exceeded 220, Garcin said.

“Since the inception of this program, there have only been two years (2008 and 2009) where we have removed 200 deer in one season,” he said.

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In all the other years of the program, the city averaged 64.7 deer removed.

The deer are trapped and killed, and the meat is donated to Helena Food Share to distribute to community members in need.

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