The Sioux Falls Police Department harvested 68 deer during this year's city deer management plan.
The deer were removed between Dec. 26, 2019 and Feb. 29, according to Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong.
The deer removal operation was focused in separate areas with higher deer populations throughout the city. A total of 46 deer were removed from the west and southeast areas of the city. Another 22 deer were removed from the north and northeast.
The long-term comprehensive Deer Management Plan for Sioux Falls was developed in cooperation with the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. DeJong said the goal is not to eliminate all deer in Sioux Falls, but to better manage the health and well-being of the deer that live inside city limits.
Several deer removed this year were found to have previous injuries such as broken legs, which reduced their quality of life. DeJong said lower deer populations allow for a healthier deer herd, as disease transmission and starvation are reduced. In addition, fewer traffic accidents due to deer/vehicle collisions have occurred since this program started in 2015.
The city worked with Sportsmen Against Hunger in order to process the meat from the removed deer. More than 1,600 pounds of deer meat were donated to those in need.