Oxford board to consider limited deer hunt

OXFORD – Aldermen will consider July 20 whether to include a limited hunt as one of the city’s tools for managing a deer population that many people say has become too plentiful.
City officials have fielded countless complaints in recent years about the animals destroying landscape plants, colliding with cars and otherwise impacting human activity.
Oxford Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Allgood presented officials with a proposal Tuesday night to authorize selected bow hunters to take deer upon request from property owners. Aldermen will likely vote on the matter at the next regular meeting on July 20.
Under the proposal, hunters must reside in Lafayette County (including Oxford), be at least 30 years old unless employed by the city, pass both written and marksmanship tests and pay a total of $100 in fees to cover costs of the program, including processing of deer meat for distribution through the Food Pantry. They would hunt only during times approved by the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP).
“This is not a deer eradication program,” Allgood said. “This is a deer-herd management program.”
Some aldermen were especially concerned about hunter accountability. Allgood assured Ward 3 Alderman Janice Antonow that hunters would enter property only of owners who had specifically asked for their help.
“The individual assigned to that property must meet with the property owner prior to any harvest activity,” he said.
Ward 1 Alderman E.O. Oliver mused, “So, if there’s a problem, we’d know who the person is who’s assigned to that area.”
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal