Ashland Deer Count Canceled Amid Controversy

, Posted: Mon, April 2 2012 at 6:50 PM, Updated: Mon, April 2 2012 at 7:37 PM

On the quiet streets of Ashland, conflict is brewing over the deer population.

"I understand it's a very controversial issue," said Ashland resident, Serene Ireland.

An especially controversial proposal made by one man: to curb the population by hunting deer with bows and arrows. That idea and the ensuing outrage forced officials to cancel the deer count.

"Very few, under five people have proposed that this data be used as a means to call or to kill the deer so we can limit the number in Ashland and that is not the purpose at all," said Carol Voisin, who is an Ashland City Councilor and sits on the Urban Wildlife Committee as well.

"That's totally misrepresenting what the deer count is about," she continued.

Voisin said the sole purpose of the count is to obtain information and to track the herd in Ashland.

"We could determine how they migrate, what kind of diseases they have and what's happening to them," said Voisin.

But Voisin said Ashlanders distrust what the deer count numbers will be used for. She said scientists are concerned their results will be used as ammunition for one side or another.

"The scientists involved [...] cannot present data or observations that are in any way compromised by this kind of contention and misrepresentation of what they're doing," said Voisin.

"I don't see how information should be used as a weapon to kill the deer, but I think it's important information to start gathering," said Ashland resident, Louann David.

Many Ashlanders agree it's important information to gather...once the tension goes down.

The last count was conducted late last year. The number of deer came in at almost 200.

It won't be determined how much the deer population has grown until there's another count. If the controversy dies down, it's possible the deer count could begin again this upcoming fall.

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