While deer numbers across the state of Wyoming may be down, Thermopolis has an urban deer population that seems to be holding close to steady and doing a lot of damage to yards and gardens.
For the third year in a row, the city has applied for and received a special permit from Wyoming Game and Fish that allows the police department to shoot a certain number of mule deer who have been calling Thermopolis home.
Assistant to the Mayor Fred Crosby says that the city has tried a number of tactics to reduce the deer numbers, including passing a “no feeding” ordinance, but the population has proven to be resilient.
“People are saying that it is a little better—there aren’t as many of them running around. I don’t know, it appears to me like it’s just maintaining a little smaller number—a better number—than it used to be,” Crosby said.
The first two years the city applied for a take permit, called a Chapter 56, the police department destroyed fifty deer each year. This year they requested that the permit be increased to sixty.
Game and Fish stressed that a Chapter 56 permit is not a hunting license, and that hunting in town is still restricted by municipality by-laws.