Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Amherst hunts for a solution to its deer problem

   If you live in the suburbs, chances are you fall into one of two categories:

   A) The person who thinks deer are precious woodland creatures and gets a little zing of pleasure every time you manage to spot one in your backyard or grazing near the road.

   B) The person who is tired of having the family garden reduced to a Bambi buffet and worries about driving at night and catching a deer in the headlights.

   Amherst Town Council member Barry Weinstein is betting that more town residents fall into the B category. For years, the town has struggled with the overpopulation of deer in suburban neighborhoods, with many seeing the town's quality of life falling as deer numbers rise.

   Weinstein's solution: Why not grow them and eat them? Or more specifically, why not study the idea of "deer farming" - a practice that has been a huge success in New Zealand, which used to struggle the same deer dilemma before it turned into one of the largest global producers of venison.

   Amherst has larger farms along its northern border. If there's a way to cultivate and raise deer in a way that makes farmers money, why not?

   Weinstein's resolution gained board support Monday. Town departments will work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to see if the deer farming idea is workable.

   - Sandra Tan

comments powered by Disqus