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Pleasant Hills officials discuss deer management

| Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Over the last few months, Pleasant Hills officials have heard complaints about managing the deer population.

In response, Gary Fujak, with the state game commission, laid out some options in his presentation to council last week, such as sterilization, birth control and controlled shoots.

Residents have complained about damage to gardens and shrubbery, wandering deer in quiet neighborhoods and occasional collisions during rutting season.

“Nobody on my street grows tulips anymore,” council President Dan Soltesz said.

The flowers become an appetizer for some passing deer, along with summer tomatoes.

“Deer management is an ongoing thing,” Fujak cautioned. “It needs to be done every year.”

The average lifespan of a deer is 10 to 12 years, he said. Each animal nibbles 5 to 10 pounds of vegetation a day to survive as it grazes within a 100- to 300-acre range.

But hunting with rifles could prove dangerous in a community where homes are so close, Fujak said. He recommended using experienced local archers who have purchased doe licenses. The use of archers in tree stands would add an element of safety.

While Fujak's talk was informative, council won't implement any management practices soon.

“There aren't many areas in the borough to manage the herd,” Soltesz said.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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