Southeast Sioux Falls overrun by deer

The deer population is southeastern Sioux Falls has taken a climb in the recent years and the Sioux Falls Police Department is taking action.

Sioux Falls Police will harvest more than two dozen deer as part of a new management program. It is the first of it's kind for the city of Sioux Falls and they are hoping it will help control the growing deer population inside city limits.

The police department has been working with Game, Fish and Parks to put together a plan of attack for this program. They took into account information from public meetings, surveys and their own deer count to determine that there was indeed an increase in deer and they needed to start this program.

There have been close to $200,000 dollars worth of property damage from deer. Game, Fish and parks issued permits for 30 deer which have to be killed between now and February 15th. The harvesting of bucks is allowed, but Sioux Falls Police are focusing on Doe's.

But this program is not open for just any hunter, only Sioux Falls Police Officers who have been drawn from a list of applicants. They will go through special training which involves safety, different methods for killing and removing the deer and training on the weapon.

The areas that are being used in this program are on private property and have been scouted out to make sure they are safe and up to standards for the shoots.

The police department is partnered up Sportsmen Against Hunger and will donate all the meat that has been harvested. The organization will cover 50% of the cost of the process.

Jon Eckrich, a homeowner in southeastern Sioux Falls, says he is all for the program. While he would like to be the one out hunting the deer, he understands the reasoning behind it just being officers. He says it needs to be done, there is an overgrowth of deer and killing the deer would be the most humane way to combat the problem instead of having the animals starve to death or die of disease.