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Feb 08

Deer in and Around St. Charles County Parks: A Conversation Worth Having

Posted on February 8, 2018 at 2:38 PM by County Council

Representing and living in District 2 in southwest St. Charles County is rewarding for many reasons. One big reason is that Historic Missouri Wine Country is blessed with four St. Charles County Parks that are open to the public. Along with regular amenities like pavilions, hiking/biking trails, camping, and fishing, these parks provide a home to local wildlife. This population includes a large number of deer that I feel creates safety issues for drivers in this well-traveled area.

Surrounding municipalities that border the southwest portion of St. Charles County, such as Dardenne Prairie, and those in St. Louis County such as Chesterfield and Ballwin, are beginning to approve or  reviewing the possibility of managed bow hunting for deer. This is in an effort to reduce the number of deer that are close to populated areas, crossing the roadways and causing accidents. According to a Joplin Globe article, insurance companies have classified Missouri as one of three states deemed “high-risk” for deer collisions. The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, which has a large deer population, holds managed deer hunts in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation during bow season and has done so for years. Managed bow hunts in County parks would have to be by a draw of those interested. Additionally, limits on the location, hours and days of the hunts would be necessary.    

With the curvy, hilly roads throughout southwest St. Charles County, I’d like to see something put into action for all citizens who drive in the area that would help reduce car accidents involving deer. If the residents of St. Charles County feel this would be an added bonus to our park system, I think it should be considered.