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City of Syracuse awaits permission to cull dear closer to properties

Two deer in a grassy forest.
Department of Agriculture and Markets
The city says it will add more deer removal sites, to combat "overabundance and multiplication."

The City of Syracuse is launching the fifth season of its deer management program, in an effort to reduce the deer and tick populations. The $50,000 plan was approved Monday by the Common Council.

The city's chief policy officer, Greg Loh, told councilors last week that they culled 79 deer in 2022, down from 90 the previous year.

“The reductions in removal does not necessarily mean that there is a reduction in deer population [citywide]," Loh said. "In fact, what we hear through our tracking methods and what we see is continued significant overpopulation, particularly in that southeast quadrant."

Loh says the program would be more effective if they could get permission to cull deer within 250 feet of properties, instead of the current 500 feet, but they’re still awaiting the governor’s signature on the potential change.

If the legislation does pass, Loh says the city has "already done significant planning to identify additional sites," including Eastside neighborhoods, which he says have some of the highest deer populations in Syracuse.

Loh says, if the legislation is signed, the city will be able to add the sites in January, February, and March, which he hopes will make a big difference.

“Because we have not been able to begin reducing the population we're seeing the impacts of overabundance and multiplication,” Loh said.

The program also includes an agreement to process the meat from the culled deer, which will be donated to homeless shelters. In addition, the city will add signage to city parks to educate residents in tick borne illness prevention. Ticks are carried and spread by deer, and can cause serious illness like Lyme Disease.

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