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Deer kill up; so are the accidents

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By Tom Wilmoth

    No changes will be made in the town’s hunting regulations, following a successful season in which a few properties within the town’s boundaries qualified for hunting on that land.
    During a work session of the Public Safety Committee last Tuesday, Bedford Police Chief James Day said there weren’t any issues with the new hunting ordinance that took effect this hunting season. Six property owners took advantage of  the guidelines set up to allow for urban hunting.
    According to Day, 108 deer were killed this hunting season through the town’s deer management program, and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reported another 21 killed within the town that were checked by hunters. Day did say, however, vehicle crashes involving deer were up from 29 in 2012 to 39 in 2013.
    Concerning the hunting regulation, Day’s report stated:
    There were no complaints related to noise or other issues with the new hunting ordinance. 
    There have been no reported injuries related to the new hunting ordinance.
    The second year of archery also posed no issues.
    The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has advised that it received no complaints, nor did it have incidents involving the new ordinance.
    The police department did    have one call from a citizen about a deceased deer in their yard.  The officer moved the deer to the street and contacted public works to remove.

    Concerning the Deer Management Program, Day reported:
    This year, officers culled 108 deer from properties in the town.  The department spent the entire budget of $7000 by mid-December.  There were 68 deer culled in 2012.
    Vehicle crashes with deer were up 34 percent. This is the highest number in six years.
    In review of the locations of the crashes, there was not a correlation of more crashes due to the increase in street miles within the town.
    MLK Bypass, Independence Boulevard and Burks Hill Road had the most crashes.

    The Police Department has two types of permits to manage deer.  One is a depopulation permit to address health and safety which allows officers to shoot deer from the roadway.  This permit is from September 1 to March 15.  The second permit is a culling permit that is issued by the police department for particular properties, both town owned and citizen owned.  This permit allows culling year-round.