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Rockville Wrestles With How To Control Deer Population

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Rockville is looking for input from residents on how to address the city's swelling deer population.
Bill Swindaman (http://www.flickr.com/photos/palmtree/3727177287/)
Rockville is looking for input from residents on how to address the city's swelling deer population.

White tail deer are a growing problem in the city of Rockville, Md., and now city officials are asking for residents' input on how to control them.

In July, the city's 16-member White Tail Deer Management Task Force offered seven recommendations to the mayor and city council on how to handle the growing deer population.

Among the suggestions: a change in existing law to allow backyard fences as tall as 10 feet and reducing the population with a managed hunt.

The task force, which includes residents and wildlife experts from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Humane Society, is also accepting suggestions from citizens on ways to control the deer.

One resident, C.L.Petit, says if it was up to him he'd take the controversial route.

"I hate to say it but a safe and tightly controlled hunt," he says. "And I'm an animal lover, but deer are deer. I love deer, but I don't want to hit one with my car either.

Kate Martin prefers the kinder, gentler approach.

"Maybe there's a non-invasive way or not so cruel way of making them sterile so they're alive but cant reproduce," she says.

And then there's this suggestion from Tanya Cole.

"I'm from the country and people eat deer where I'm from and its good meat," she says. "Feed the homeless!"

The deadline for submitting suggestions to the task force is September 9. Input can be emailed to deertaskforce@rockvillemd.gov.

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