West Bend turns to sharpshooters in effort to reduce deer population

West Bend's common council hopes hired sharpshooters can help decrease the city's booming deer population. 

City officials approved the decision to spend up to $9,000 on the sharpshooters earlier this month. 

"That's the high end of what we were quoted - it could be less," said Ald. John Butschlick

Butschlick said constituents regularly complain of deer eating their gardens and causing car crashes. 

"It's nothing to see 18 to 20 deer crossing one of our streets," he said. 

He said the sharpshooters will likely be hired through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

The sharpshooters would operate on two weekends this winter, during the overnight hours, with the goal of harvesting 60 deer at two West Bend parks. 

West Bend Police said the parks will be closed at the time, but they'll put extra patrols in the area to make sure people are kept out.

Butschlick said the meat from all the deer killed will be donated to a local food pantry. 

But not everyone is fully on board with the plan. Ald. Michael Christian was one of two council members to vote against the idea. 

"I think the problem is a little overblown," Christian said. 

He added he doesn't oppose the idea of the sharpshooters, but that he's not sure they're necessary. 

"I believe if you were to poll the community, the majority of the community would say they appreciate the deer," Christian said. 

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