Due to a lack of volunteers, Granite Shoals is putting on hold its annual deer management program, which includes a fall archery hunt to reduce the white-tailed deer population in the city.
The Wildlife Advisory Committee is down to two members after the resignation of chairman Jason Brady, who is moving outside of the city, and Paul Dorman, who stepped down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Two members is not enough to make a quorum,” City Secretary Elaine Simpson said, “so the committee is going on hiatus until at least January 1, 2021.”
Simpson noted committee members do a lot of work throughout the year in preparation for the annual archery hunt, including hosting a town hall meeting on the program, holding archery safety class, conducting proficiency trials for interested volunteer bowhunters, and doing an annual deer census within the city.
With a large deer population, Granite Shoals leaders had to find a way to remove the animals while abiding by state laws. They formed the committee and started a pilot program with help from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department using volunteer bowhunters to kill deer within the city limits. The hunters follow strict rules on where and how they hunt the deer and what is done with the meat.
City Manager Jeff Looney commended the committee for its dedication during the past four years.
“That committee has done a very good job of it,” he said. “It’s cost-effective; it doesn’t cost taxpayers a lot of money.”
Looney believes the deer population is up this season.
“You can tell by the number of fawns,” he said. “It seems like all the does had twins.”
Leaders hope for more volunteers so the committee can resume its work in 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the committee from doing all of the front work that they do each year to prepare for deer management,” Simpson said. “So, at this point, I am tasked with promoting the vacancies that exist on the committee and see if we can fill some. Hopefully, after the holidays, we can resume meetings and begin planning for deer management for 2021.”
Anyone interested in learning more can go to the city’s boards and commission webpage. Those interested in volunteering can download the online application and drop it off at City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road, or email Simpson at email@example.com.