- Associated Press - Saturday, May 6, 2017

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - Residents of a Bettendorf neighborhood have grown frustrated by a growing deer population and the city’s inability to reduce the herd size.

Neighbors have documented the deer population growing out of control and destroying vegetation, despite being on the bow hunters’ list since 2009, the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/2p9QHPr ) reported.

Evidence of deer destruction is beginning to pick up again in the yard of retired biologist and Iowa State University master gardener Jeanne Elliott. Deer droppings lie in her front bushes, and numerous trees show signs of wear from deer antlers scraping off the bark.

“I purposely bought a half-acre to have a garden and a yard in the middle of Bettendorf,” Elliott said. “If I wanted to live in a wildlife preserve, I’d live in Blue Grass. For 22 years, we paid taxes, and they ignore the problem, and we can’t use our yards.”

Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington said the city has contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources numerous times but has been told its ability to do anything is limited outside of the hunting season.

“I agree with everything she’s said, and there has been quite a bit of damage,” Redington said. “We’re willing to do what we can, and I know it can be frustrating.”

Elliott has asked the city to ask the department for a one-time exemption from to remove the deer. Depredation biologist Greg Harris said the problem isn’t that simple.

“There have been studies where the cost to trap and move a single animal is $4,000,” Harris said. “If you do catch a deer, where are you going to move it to and who’s going to pay that? Jeanne, the city and DNR are not going to pay for that.”

Harris said Bettendorf also can’t hire a wildlife removal company because that falls outside its jurisdiction.

“We are doing our best to work within the constraints and laws we have,” Harris said.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com


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