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Fayetteville Prepares to Deploy Sharpshooters to Address Persistent Deer Problem


It appears the Village of Fayetteville is about to be the first in the county to go forward with a deer management plan.  Village trustees have decided to hire government sharpshooters to cull the deer herd instead of using volunteer bow hunters.  

  The village’s deer committee had recommended signing an agreement with the USDA animal and plant health inspection service.  Mayor Mark Olson says this means trained, professional sharpshooters will come in and do the work as opposed to using volunteer archers.

"The deer committee had some concerns about volunteer fatigue and not being able to keep the number of bow hunters active and moving this program forward.  So when the USDA  came in with their program and taking care of the whole thing,  that took care of that."

Olson says the village was sold on the overall effectiveness of the USDA plan…

"They do everything.  One of the benefits of the program is they come in, they will do the baiting, the feeding, then they com e back before going to the sites.  It's a shorter time frame.  Then they take the deer right to the processor, and the processor takes the meat to the food bank.  That is a more seamless process."

Olson says the sharpshooters will target the dear from designated areas.

"We have reviewed four sites with them, and all of them are on public land...they're not in residential areas.   There should be little affect on the village residents.  They're also using silencers, and they're telling us there's minimal impact."

Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson

Olson says the USDA program also allows also for more accountability, so village officials will be able to verify what went right and what might need improvement.  He says before the sharpshooters come in, the village will hire a company to conduct a flyover in the next week or so to get a good idea just how many deer there are.  Olson knows the problem persists.

"As late as Sunday night, we had a car-deer accident right in the village.  And we're hearing about Lyme disease and all these things still happening in the village.  The more we've gone out and talked to people, the more issues we're having in certain pockets of the village, including  around green lakes and the cemetery."

 Olson expects the sharpshooters to begin their work sometime next month.  

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at