GREEN RIVER — The deer population within the city limits of Green River appears to be stable. Green River Chief of Police Tom Jarvie said several officers and volunteers did the visual count last Thursday morning throughout the eight sections of the city.
While the deer count this year was lower than the last couple of years, there were some notable changes in where the deer were found this year. He commented that there were significantly fewer deer found in the Hutton Heights area than previous years and significantly more in the area that included Pioneer Park. Twenty deer were counted in Pioneer Park.
Jarvie said only four deer were counted north of the railroad tracks.
“We know more deer are commonly in this area so some must have been bedded down in land away from the populated areas,” Chief Jarvie said.
He added that the city tries to be consistent in the timing of the year, and time of day when they do counts, but weather and the deer themselves can be variables.
Chief Jarvie said vehicle crashes resulting from deer remain fairly low with only six such crashes reported to the Police Department during 2021. He said a review of other calls involving deer revealed three incidents of injured or dead deer and two cases of people warned against feeding deer.
Jarvie mentioned there was one very unique report on January 2, 2022 where a coyote was witnessed attacking a deer along the Bitter Creek where it meets the Green River. The officer responded to the area and located the injured deer which was euthanized at the direction of Game and Fish.
Other reports showed the streets department has taken a total of 37 deceased deer to the landfill during 2021. This number had not been tracked in previous years as carcasses had been placed in trash containers. Now that Wyoming Waste prohibits that practice, the City has more data regarding how many deer are dying annually. Jarvie said the cause of death in those instances is not determined so it is unknown how much is a result of an unreported vehicle collision, illness or natural aging.
The counts have been done each year with the help of volunteers, the local Game and Fish, and the Green River Police Department. Counts have been monitored to help determine if there is a need for a culling program similar to other communities. Jarvie said total deer numbers remain far below that of municipalities with culling programs but they will continue to monitor, count, and report.