South Carolina City Could Hire Sharpshooters to Get Overwhelming Deer Population Under Control

by Craig Garrett
Herd Of Deer Standing On Land In Forest - stock photo

The deer population is spiraling out of control in one South Carolina city, causing citizen to set their sights to kill. The city of Tega Cay is struggling with an overwhelming deer population and is seeking a solution. One option to get it under control is to hire “sharpshooters” to euthanize the deer, NBC affiliate WCNC reports. This practice of deer removal isn’t new, but some Tega Cay residents describe it as “cruel and violent.”

Residents of Tega Cay overwhelmingly spoke out in a recent survey about the deer problem, with many saying that property damage has been an issue. City Councilman Scott Shirley said that the city is working on a few options with the state to get things under control. “All of the foliage is gone up to the brow of the deer,” Shirley told WCNC. “So they’ve eaten everything they can reach. Some of those options to fix the problem are very costly.” 

The alternative of relocating the animals to a new location is one possibility. Capturing and administering a kind of birth control is another alternative. The city and state are also considering hiring “sharpshooters,” which is another option that has residents upset. The city and state anticipate the cost of each deer shot and killed will be around $200. There’s an objective of eradicating at least 400 deer. That sum is at least $80,000.

The sharpshooters would be hired by taxpayer dollars

$80,000 seems like a hefty fee to thin the growing herd of troublesome deer. However, Councilman Shirley wasn’t very concerned with obtaining the funds. “I’m fairly confident it would come from taxpayer revenue,” Shirley explained. To others, it’s more than simply a worry about the cost. Mary Ickert has resided in Tega Cay for a while and sees the notion as a major safety hazard. “Which I’m very disappointed as a resident and terrified as a mother,” Ickert said. “When you invite something in like this, you are always taking a chance that something could go horribly wrong.” 

However, Shirley stresses that safety would be a top priority if sharpshooters were employed. “If we were going to deploy a sharpshooter program it would be in the fairway of a golf course,” Shirley quipped.

Several Tega Cay residents told WCNC Charlotte they enjoy hunting and deer control, but they believe this method of management is inhumane. According to the city ordinance 70 of Tega Cay, discharging a firearm is prohibited within city limits.

Shirley says that if the city were to adopt the shooters, it would make sure that everyone was safe. The city intends to vote on this proposal as soon as possible. WCNC Charlotte is unsure when the item will be considered by the Tega Cay City Council.