The Buffalo Police Department will again this year be regulating the deer population in the city by harvesting them through a cooperative effort with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This is the second year that officers will be removing deer from the city and offering the meat to citizens on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Thinning the urban herds is the primary reason for the “hunts,” but it also gives the opportunity for stocking the freezer with venison, so the animals don't go to waste.
This year the BPD will be offering the meat with a new twist, designed to make the city's money for the project stretch a little further. Last year, all of the carcasses were processed at a local locker plant, and citizens who payed for the processing fee could take possession of the meat, or the city picked up the bill for the processing fee and donated the meat to the local food bank. This year that same service will be offered, but in addition, those who may wish to process their own meat can do so, saving the city the cost of the processing fee and allowing the city to offer more meat to the food bank.
Buffalo Police Chief Mike Chapman explains how the hunts will work.
Chapman said the city was able to offer fifty carcasses to the public last year, but funds this year are slightly lower.
Chapman said each carcass is required by the Game and Fish to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, so the public has no need to worry. The animals will be cooled and hung, he said, and two or three days later the results of the testing will be back from the state and the carcasses can then be picked up.
Chapman said he has received complaints about nuisance deer in all parts of the city, but the police will be limited in the number of places they can actually shoot the deer because of concerns about public safety. In some areas of town, especially in denser areas, he said, it just isn't safe to discharge a firearm.
For those interested in getting signed up to receive a deer carcass, call the Criminal Justice Center at 684-5581 and ask for Carol.