Deer Population on the Rise in Baltimore County
The deer population is on the rise in Baltimore County. This presents all kinds of problems for home owners, drivers and communities as a whole.
Deer can be very destructive by eating your landscaping, eating the bark on trees and they carry diseases through fleas and ticks that attach to them. And, they are one of the biggest causes of automobile accidents in our area. It is not uncommon for hikers to encounter deer on the trails at Oregon Ridge or see the carcasses of deer struck by vehicles along the side of Shawan Road, Greenspring Valley Road or Sweet Air Road. As the population increases they will become more and more destruction eating farmers crops, and gardens.
This fawn was one of three born to one doe last spring and the picture taken not more than 100 feet from my house. When I took the picture I was about 10 feet from it. Before you think this is cute, I don't live in the country (although you might think so by the picture). I live near the corner of Seminary and York Roads in Lutherville, one of the busiest intersections in Lutherville, about 1/2 a mile from I695.
There is a proposal being put forth that would allow controlled deer hunting on county parkland in Baltimore County. Which county parkland would be determined by the Department of Natural Resources. There is great concern for the safety of hikers and hunters a like if this proposal were to be approved by Council.
Currently, county law prohibits discharging a firearm, pellet gun or crossbow within the metropolitan district-essentially the county's most urban areas (including my backyard).
The state manages deer hunts in all three city-owned reservoir watersheds. Loch Raven Reservoir was the last of those to be hunted in 2008. Additionally, the county has paid for professional hunters to hunt for deer in the Loch Raven Reservoir watershed and the harvested deer were donated to local food banks for distribution to the needy.
Other possibilities are immuno-contraception that has been effective on Federal properties around the country to control the future growth of the deer population. However, this doesn't address the current population explosion. Last year, I saw more than 3 sets of triplets in our small area. And, many carcasses at the side of the road and cars of neighbors and friends after striking a deer in the road.
The bill is scheduled for discussion at the council's April 26 work session. A final vote is scheduled for May 2.
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