Legislation may be coming to help thin the herds. Problems created by whitetail deer populations in Sheridan and Johnson counties could potentially be reduced by a bill that could allow baiting of big game away from populated areas.
The state Game and Fish Commission brought the issue to the Joint Travel Recreation and Wildlife, Cultural Resources Committee, which will now sponsor a bill. Sen. Bruce Burns R-Sheridan is on the committee, he says Senate File 17 would do two things.
Burns says as opposed to in statute, caliber and bullet weight is better kept in rule and regulation of the Game and Fish because they are more adept at keeping up with improvements and specifications of various weapons.
The second part of the bill focuses on areas where there are over-populations of big game. It would authorize game and fish to set up shooting alleys and bait the game into them in order for numbers to be controlled. For Sheridan and Johnson counties the statute will address white tail, but Burns says that over-populations of big game create problems everywhere.
Scott Edberg is assistant chief of wildlife division for the state Game Commission, he was quoted in an Associated Press article about the bill on Thursday, stating that increased populations of whitetail getting into towns has become a problem, particularly in Sheridan and Johnson counties.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.