The City is involved in managing the deer herd in Burnsville in multiple ways, including through the enforcement of a deer feeding ban, regulation of bowhunting, education for residents on how to reduce deer issues, and annual deer population monitoring/population control. Information related to all of these areas can be found within the deer section of the website.
The City’s work related to deer is directed by the Deer Management Program Plan (PDF), passed by City council in 2001. The goals of the program are to:
- Manage the deer population at socially acceptable levels
- Maintain the health of Burnsville’s woodland habitat
- Maintain the health of our deer herd
The program is intended to address the following concerns associated with high deer populations:
- Protect the biological integrity of our natural areas. Over browsing by deer harms our natural woodlands.
- Improve public safety. An average of 50 deer/car collisions are reported annually in Burnsville.
- Protect residential landscapes. More and more residents are experiencing problems with damage to their yards and gardens from deer.
- Maintain the long term health of the deer herd. Left unchecked, the size of the herd will increase to levels that cannot be supported naturally. The Burnsville Deer Management program has a number of components, including education, monitoring, ordinance revisions and population control. The City produces an annual report on deer management activities.
Population Control Efforts
In order to maintain the deer population at a healthy level, the City periodically reduces the population through sharpshooting conducted by the Burnsville Police Department and through high organized archery hunts on public park land. More information on organized bowhunts in Burnsville parks can be found here.
Sharpshooting activities occur during the winter at specific sites. Venison from harvested deer is donated to local food shelves. When sharpshooting activities begin, this website will be updated with a list of parks where sharpshooting is occurring and updates regarding any temporary park closures related to the program. Park closed signs will be placed at the actual park as well. Sharpshooting activities have now been completed for the winter 2022-2023 season. No sharpshooting work is planned until the winter of 2023-2024.