Mt. Lebanon commissioners approve deer survey

Published Jan 29, 2013 at 10:17 am (Updated Jan 29, 2013 at 10:17 am)

Mt Lebanon commissioners are moving forward with the municipality’s deer management program, and the first step could occur as early as February.

Commissioners unanimously approved a deer survey proposal that directs municipal officials to solicit proposals and conduct the survey as early as possible, including the possibility of February of this year. A second proposal could also be conducted by February 2014.

A previous deer survey was conducted in Mt. Lebanon in 2007.

The approved 2013 budget includes $12,000 for deer surveys, and the original proposal included a survey to be conducted in February and November of this year, but commissioners wanted to gather information from the first survey in February before committing to a second survey.

“I’d like to see the report before doing a second one,” commissioner Dave Brumfield said. “Let’s take a look at what one survey tells us.”

The decision to change the proposal came after citizens commented that data would be more accurate if collected during the same seasons.

“There is a natural variation between the seasons among deer,” resident Kimberly Schevtchuk told commissioners. “For this survey to be valid, you need to compare February to February. If you cross seasons, you’ll have different numbers.”

The survey will be done with infrared aerial cameras, also known as FLIR cameras. Once the deer data is collected, commissioners hope to provide education to residents and install signs throughout the municipality.

But commissioner Kristen Linfante was quick to point out that while the management program should reduce the amount of conflicts between deer and residents, it will not actually reduce the number of deer.

“Our plan is to do education and signage because that’s all our budget will allow,” Linfante said. “In June, we’re going to have a lot of little deer running around.”

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