After months of research and public input, the city of Syracuse’s deer and tick advisory board is ready to make recommendations on how to curb the problem. They’ve come up with a ten point plan that relies on the cooperation of county government, city divisions, and private citizens.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Onondaga County’s Kristina Ferrare said the deer and tick issue is a complex one that requires a long term plan.
"This is important because we are not suggesting one solution now, and suggesting that we stick with that solution forward without considering the impacts it's having," said Ferrare. "It should assess the effectiveness of the management operations annually and make adjustments as necessary."
Part of this plan does include culling deer to control their population size. Deer and Tick Advisory Group’s Tom Quinn said the professional sharpshooters go to great lengths to make sure everything is safe before shooting deer in urban areas.
"These are trained professionals who have had more than 20 years of experience without incident," said Quinn. "They do it all over the state. When they ground an area they make sure that it is safe, line of sight, always shooting into the berm or into the earth."
Quinn said deer are the number one hosts for adult ticks. Kristina Ferrare added that decreasing the number of deer is necessary in order to make any progress on the tick issue. Culling could begin as early as this fall. The full plan is available here.