Bald Head Island finishes deer cull

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BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Bald Head Island has finished a cull of the island’s deer population. It’s the first step in the village’s plan to launch a birth control program for the animals.

The cull, which ended this morning, killed a total 20 does and 10 antlerless bucks. The meat will be processed and donated to local food pantries.

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The Village of Bald Head Island partnered with the Bald Head Island Conservancy and island residents to prepare for the possible launching of an immuno-contraception program for managing white tail deer on the island. The BHI Conservancy is helping organize and raise the roughly $60,000 in private donations needed for the first year of operations.

According to the analysis presented at a meeting with the BHI Conservancy and residents, first-year operations will focus on darting and immunizing a num­ber of does, which in turn will receive boosters in the second year. BHI says it is a labor-intensive process, which means some high costs. The analy­sis also showed that a smaller herd to begin with would improve the chances of success for the program, the village said. Thus, the BHI Conservancy asked the village to conduct a small cull of the herd this year, especially focused on reducing the number of does, but also maintaining the doe-to-buck ratio.