Seeing wildlife in the neighborhood is exciting and the city promotes enhancing habitat for wildlife. But without natural predators, deer populations have increased tremendously in some Maplewood neighborhoods. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends a maximum of 15-25 deer per square mile of habitat in urban areas. Some areas in Maplewood far exceed this threshold.
Overpopulation of deer can negatively impact the health of a deer herd, public safety (via deer-vehicle collision), and vegetation.
Maplewood’s deer management strategy focuses on 4 activities:
Bowhunting: Maplewood and Ramsey County partner with Metro
Bowhunters Resource Base (MBRB) for removal of deer on selected sites in
the city. Hunters in this program are members of MBRB and must pass a
proficiency test to participate. Hunters interested in participating
should contact MBRB. The hunts are typically conducted in two to four
three-day sessions in fall. This program helps us manage the population
but in some areas of the city it will not be adequate to achieve our
Monitoring: The city contracts Ramsey County to conduct an annual aerial survey of deer in Maplewood. This snapshot in time, gives us an estimate of the deer population from year to year.
Ordinance: Maplewood ordinance prohibits feeding deer. In
addition to putting out corn and other fodder, this includes putting out
salt licks and having a bird feeder that attracts deer.
Sharpshooting: When deer populations are extremely high and if funding is available, the city may contract sharpshooters to remove deer. The city has only done this once. We are nearing the point when sharpshooting will again be necessary to reduce the herd.