Questions Asked During Public Comments at October Council Meeting

What is the “right number” of deer that should be living in the peninsula?

According to SCDNR, the ideal number would be just under 100 deer.  This number is unlikely to be achieved through the singular use of sharpshooters. SCDNR stated this would take a multiyear process of utilizing sharpshooters, deer surveys and eventually sterilization when the deer population numbers are more manageable.   


Can we bring back coyotes since they are the deer natural predators to control the herd?

A few years ago, previous council approved a measure to remove some coyotes from the peninsula due to complaints of safety concerns with the coyotes. There are still coyotes on the peninsula and none have been removed this year. 


Can we feed deer?  

SCDNR strongly discourages the feeding of deer.  City Staff has been researching a possible ordinance for City Council to consider that would prohibit the feeding of wildlife.  


Are new developments causing the increased deer population?

According to SCDNR this is not the case.  Urban deer have a small migration area and adapt to the conditions of greenspace and neighborhoods.  They are not migrating out of their normal spaces because of development.  The increased deer population is associated with deer reproducing at higher levels. 


Why was the second deer study not announced to the public?

The City has conducted 3 deer studies with SCDNR in 2017, March 2022 and September 2022.  All of those studies were conducted unannounced to minimize possible disruption from the public.  


How do we know the deer study is accurate?

The deer were counted by age and sex in several designated areas of the peninsula within a 3 hour time period.  Each area, or transection, is spaced in a way to ensure there was not enough time for the deer to travel from one transection to another within the time period observations were made.  


Why were comments about the deer information deleted on the City Facebook Page? 

The intent of the Facebook post about deer was to share information to the public.  At the time of the post, the City disable comments to prevent back and forth banter.  No comments were deleted as none could be made to that post. 


Why wasn’t the deer survey communicated better?

The deer survey was posted on the City's Website along with being sent via Newsflash and the e-newsletter to specifically target Tega Cay Residents.  The City received an overwhelming amount of participation comparable to a general election.  Moving forward the City will consider utilizing additional forms of communication to share important information with our residents.  


How much does sharpshooting and sterilization cost?

SCDNR estimated a cost of $225/deer for sharpshooting and $1200/deer for sterilization.  City Staff is currently acquiring proposals for both processes. 


What is the cost to process deer meat and where does it go?

The cost of processing the deer is typically include with the sharpshooter fee.  Once the meat is processed, South Carolina State Law requires it to be donated to charitable organizations such as food banks.


Do sharpshooters present a safety issue to the public?

Public safety is at the forefront of City Council's Priority.  If City Council elects to hire a sharpshooting firm a thorough background process will be conducted before a firm is selected.  City Staff would work with the selected firm to develop an extensive safety plan for the areas selected to cull the deer. 

 

Why is a public vote not being held?

As elected officials, City Council is responsible for being the voice of the people to carry out City Business.  City Council has valued public input throughout the process with the use of the Deer Survey, Public Comments at Council Meetings and other forms of communication.  City Council is utilizing this input along with all of the information at hand to make the most informed decision possible.