Scott Twp. To Make Feeding Deer Illegal

SCOTT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — While hunters complain that deer in the forest are on the decline, in urban and suburban Allegheny County, the Game Commission says the opposite is true – the population is at an all-time high.

“It’s a healthy deer habitat. If I was a deer I’d want to live in Allegheny County too,” PA Game Commission Officer Gary Fujak said.

With plenty of trees and gardens on which to feed and the hunting limited, the deer population is spiraling out of control in towns like Scott Township to dangerous affect.

In 2007 there were 19 vehicle collisions with deer – 33 in 2008, 39 in 2009 and just last year there were 46 accident involving deer — many along Forsythe Road.

“We’re talking 100 pound plus animal striking you whenever you go down the road,” Fujak said.

The deer tend to breed in Scott Township Park and then fan out into the neighborhoods foraging for food.

The township is concerned that residents who feed the deer are only making the problem worse.

“What we’re proposing is an ordinance that will prohibit the ground feed of wildlife in our township,” Scott Township Commissioner David Jason said.

Hoping to curb that growth, Scott is set to vote on what would be the first ordinance in the county prohibiting residents from feeding deer.

Jason says putting food out is creating other problems.

“The excess food that ends up on the ground ends up creating a rodent problem, insect problem and it’s a health issue with the Lyme disease, the deer ticks,” he said.

The Game Commission hopes that Scott starts a trend, but concedes it’s not the whole solution to curbing the deer population.

“It’s the best first step that communities can take to address their deer issues,” Fujak said.

PA Game Commission
Scott Township

More from Andy Sheehan
  • Liz Wallach

    While I appreciate the difficulties caused by too many deer for neighborhoods and drivers, I think we are missing the larger issue: We have too many deer living in human neighborhoods because we built those neighborhoods on habitats that deer have lived in for centuries. The more wild land that we convert into new housing, shopping centers, and now Marcellus shale development, the more wild animals are forced to cohabit with us. I live in Greene County, where the Marcellus industry is booming, and, for the first time last year, I had a herd of deer and a flock of turkeys living in my front yard — I’m sure it isn’t because they wanted to be close neighbors with my human family.

    • Lynda Nathenson

      I totally agree with you, Liz. THIS is the real issue. There are fewer and fewer areas for the deer to exist. They are forced to be out in the open through no fault of their own. It’s very sad. But hopefully they will come out less often if there is no supplemental feeding places for them.

  • Come on Man

    So the deer will now eat in Mt Lebanon,Greentree, Colllier Heildeberg and Carnigie…….then walk to Scott to sleep……

  • drats

    Yes, More govt regulation. I wish they could control every aspect of our lives.

  • No Wild Turkey

    I saw a turkey in my yard I would have had him for dinner, but my neighbors would tell if I popped him with a slug.

    • Mayor of GBD

      Then buy a licenase and use a crossbow.

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