Blue Earth talks coyote, deer population

BLUE EARTH — On Monday, the Blue Earth City Council further discussed solutions to the city’s deer population problem.

This issue was first brought up at a council meeting in early March, when council members spoke about complaints from residents who had see deer in town and experienced deer eating their plants and shrubs.

The council also spoke about the issue at the March 19 meeting, where they discussed meeting with a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) representative to further look at the city’s options.

At a meeting with the DNR and members of the council, the DNR gave the council members suggestions on how to deal with the issue, saying that establishing a feed ban would be a first step. The DNR also suggested a sponsored bow and arrow hunt, in which the city would set a number of deer permits to hunters on specified city-owned land.

Council member Glenn Gaylord said that he was disappointed with the meeting with the DNR, as they chose not to address the coyote population in the area. At the previous city council meeting, Gaylord had expressed that he believes that the reason the deer are coming into town is to get away from coyotes. On Monday, Gaylord showed the council a photo of a deer carcass in Blue Earth that was torn apart by coyotes.

“Coyotes are a big problem, even more so than the deer,” said Gaylord.

Gaylord said that he believes that the best solutions to the problem is to address the coyote population so that less deer will come into town and to lobby the DNR to acquire more doe permits to bring down the deer population.

“That’s going to fix the problem and I don’t see anything else that’s going to do it,” said Gaylord.

Council member John Huisman said that he was in favor of the annual bow hunt idea, saying that the City of New Ulm has had success with it.

“This is a low cost way to deal with the problem if we do it every year,” said Huisman.

Mayor Richard Scholtes said that one possible issue with holding a bow hunt is that the city doesn’t own much land that would be suitable to hunt on.

The council decided to work with the DNR to determine what city-owned land could be used for a sponsored hunt, and make a decision based on the findings.