Environmental Commission Wants Study Of Fences, Professional Hunters To Control Deer Herd

The township Environmental Commission is asking the township to look into fences and professional hunters to control Franklin’s deer herd.

The township Environmental Commission wants the administration to study two vastly different methods of controlling the deer population in Franklin.

The first was to look into the cost and feasibility of fencing an approximately quarter-mile stretch of township-owned property along DeMott Lane and, alternatively, look into the cost and feasibility of fencing off that entire parcel.

The second was to study the feasibility of hiring professional hunters to thin the deer herd.

The idea for the recommendations was broached by Township Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1), who asked for something he could take to Township Manager Robert Vornlocker. Chase said he would make the same request of the township Open Space Advisory Committee at its June 19 meeting.

Commission member Cecile MacIvor took Chase up on his request.

MacIvor initially suggested an 8-foot-tall fence be placed along township-owned property on DeMott.

“The purpose being to keep the deer from causing accidents on the highway,” he said. “We have police cars and ambulances using that street all the time, at high rates of speed. Heaven forbid one of them hits a deer at a high rate of speed because that will be devastating.”

Chase then suggested the possibility of a fence along the entire parcel, saying it would give the vegetation there some time to regenerate.

“You put up a fence and leave a little opening and somebody maybe us, drive the deer out,” he said.

Commission member Arnold Schmidt, also a member of the OSAC, said that body held a discussion about fencing, determining that it would be very expensive.

“It would be great to have a fence there, but it was discussed, and it would be constant repairs,” he said. “If you were to put a fence around the whole property, that would be incredibly expensive. How do you get all the deer out of there to begin with?”

“And even if you do get all the deer out of there and surround it with a fence, you have the problem of trees coming down on it and they walk back in,” he said.

Commission member David Triggs cast the sole “no” vote on the proposal.

“I just think it’s a temporary fix to the problem of deer in town, you’re just pushing the problem somewhere else,” he said. “I’m more in favor of bringing in sharpshooters and taking the deer out. Plus, I just think it’s going to be cost-prohibitive. There’s no way they’re going to pay for a fence.”

Triggs then moved that a recommendation also be made to Vornlocker that the township study the cost and feasibility of bringing in professional hunters. That motion passed unanimously.


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