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Overrun North Idaho burg eyes birth control for deer

A buck looks over the fence Friday at a half-acre in Dalton Gardens  where a community-supported agriculture project is taking shape. The abundance of deer is a  hazard of gardening in North Idaho. (Jesse Tinsley)
A buck looks over the fence Friday at a half-acre in Dalton Gardens where a community-supported agriculture project is taking shape. The abundance of deer is a hazard of gardening in North Idaho. (Jesse Tinsley)

WILDLIFE -- They've tried trapping and removing the menacing deer. That didn't work.  Neither did an effort to get everyone in the Coeur d'Alene-area bedroom community to stop luring the deer and adding to the problem.

The next plan? Birth control for town-tamed whitetails.

Dalton Gardens officials say they are considering using contraceptive vaccines to curb a growing deer population that has for years caused residential headaches along with gardening and landscaping woes.

No drop has been noticed in the deer population despite making it illegal to feed the whitetails nearly a year ago, city council members say.

Incoming Mayor Steve Roberge says the city will no longer seek out trapping and removal of local deer when he takes office. Instead, he says the council will discuss approving birth control vaccines in early 2016 rather than rely on trapping or hunting methods to reduce animal population.

The vaccine, distributed through a dart gun, would sterilize deer for up to two years.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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