SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — During the week of December 12, deer management, or deer culling, which is carried out by wildlife managers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is set to begin.

Deer culling will continue on through March of 2023, said Mayor Ben Walsh’s office.

This will be the fourth year that the City of Syracuse has participated in deer culling alongside the USDA. Other municipalities across the county partake in deer damage management as well.

Deer culling takes place because there is an overpopulation of deer, and it is now turning into a public health and safety concern.

“The purpose of the program is to address the impact of deer overpopulation on: deer-vehicle accidents; parks, gardens, and the ecosystem; and public health risks, such as Lyme Disease,” said the Mayor’s office.

The City of Syracuse has issued a “frequently asked questions” sheet called, “What Syracuse residents should know about Deer Damage Management.” The sheet is also available by calling the Syracuse Parks Department at (315) 473-4330.

Sites meeting the requirements made by The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) have been identified on east, west and south sides of the city.

  • All of the locations are on large private and city-owned properties
  • Only DEC permitted sites where explicit written permission from the property owners have been provided will be accessed
  • The sites are required to be at least 500 feet from any occupied dwelling
  • All sites are either private or closed to public access when work is conducted

Last year, 92 deer were removed between December 2021 and March 2022. Deer management also occurred in five other municipalities: Camillus, Solvay, Dewitt, Fayetteville and Manlius, according to the city’s annually reported results.

The USDA wildlife managers will conduct the work only at night, between dusk and dawn. Sites where they are working will be closed to the public during those hours.

According to the Mayor’s office, no wildlife management officer should be accessing private property without permission. Residents should call 911 if you see suspicious activity on public or private property at any time.

The plan also includes community education on personal safeguards from tick-borne disease. The City Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs will conduct education programs in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension this Spring and Summer.

City funding for implementation of the Tick and Deer Management Plan is authorized by the Syracuse Common Council.

Primary funding is provided by Onondaga County with support from County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II and the Onondaga County Legislature.