Deer Management Program Information

Deer Management Update (October 10, 2016)

Video excerpt from a seminar on pest and deer management by Jessica Walliser, co-host of “The Organic Gardeners” on KDKA-Radio in Pittsburgh, PA and hosted by the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

Deer Management Update (October 3, 2016)

Effective today, Twin Hills Park has been added to the list of public properties that are being utilized in the controlled archery hunt program. All other program information remains the same. Complete FAQ available here.

Deer Management Update (September 2, 2016)

Deer Management Update (August 10, 2016)

Mt. Lebanon Commission has authorized an archery hunt as part of an ongoing deer management effort. The program will begin September 17, 2016, and continue through January 28, 2017, with a break between November 27 and Christmas.

Deer Management Update (July 20, 2016)

To help the Commission make informed decisions about deer management, the municipality began collecting data and assessing options more than four years ago. The staff began tracking the number of police reports involving deer-car traffic incidents. The first full-year data was collected in 2012. Between 2013 and 2015, reported deer-car incidents increased from 43 in 2013 to 73 in 2015—a 66 percent increase. During that same time period, the number of reports the Police Department and Animal Control received related to injured/dead deer in roadways and yards increased as well and the number of requests for dead deer pickups more than doubled— from 48 in 2008 to 127 in 2015.

In early 2014, the Commission established a goal to reduce deer-car incidents by 50 percent over the next five years. This goal provides a focus that helps guide decisions as we move forward. Achieving this goal requires a multi-pronged approach. Over the past three years, the Commission has collected and evaluated information and advice from experts, and has taken many well-considered actions intended to achieve our deer management goal. The actions are summarized below:

Non-lethal methods

  1. Deer Crossing Signs: 28 deer crossing signs have been installed on state, county and local roads based on deer/vehicular and dead deer pickup data.
  2. Mobile message trailers: These trailers are situated appropriately and display warning messages to alert motorists during times of heavy deer activity (Fawning Season—May/June and the Rut—September through November)
  3. Public education:
  • Deer Panel Discussion: In June 2014, a deer panel discussion was held and televised online and on cable. The panel included District Justice Blaise Larotonda (moderator), Dr. Anthony DeNicola (White Buffalo), Jeannine Fleegle (PA Game Commission), Todd Kravits, PennDOT, Laura Simon (Humane Society of the United States) Tom Kelley (Mt. Lebanon Public Works Director), Sandy Feather (Penn State Cooperative) and Aaron Lauth (MLPD). Panelists answered a variety of questions about deer management. In 2015, the Commission held two forums to which the public was invited to ask questions of experts, one at Mellon and one at Mt. Lebanon High School Fine Arts Theater. These events also were taped and made available for viewing.
  • Sandy Baker: the Deer Doctor: The municipality hired Ms. Baker to provide a series of presentations and to also speak with residents and elected officials about deer deterrent strategies as part of a comprehensive deer management plan. (April 25-27, 2015)
  • Commission Discussion Sessions and Meetings: The Commission has discussed deer management at many Commission Discussion and Regular meetings over the past several years.
  • Municipal Website: information, reports, articles, PowerPoints and more are available at
  • mtl magazine: The municipal magazine has published print and online articles related to deer and deer management and has provided many Facebook posts on deer management issues, including deer behavior, driver safety and deer deterrent strategies. A recent article showed the location of how deer-resistant shrubs and flowers have been used in public planting areas, serving as a demonstration project to people who might like to do something similar on their properties, as per a recommendation from Sandy Baker.
  • LeboALERTs: The subscription-based LeboALERT system has been used to notify residents when new information related to deer management is posted to the municipal website or during times of high deer activity, (Fawning or Rut).
  • Library Speaker Series (Fall 2016): Growing Together-Connecting with Nature is a three-entry series of fun and educational events to be held at the library this fall. The series will “help residents learn more about plantings that will thrive in our area and how to better co-exist with the wildlife that share our backyards and gardens.” The programs will be taped and broadcast. Speakers and dates are as follows:
  • September 27, 7-8 p.m., Jessica Wallister, free-lance horticulturalist, Deer Proofing and Pest Proofing your Yard Naturally—Simple Strategies that Work.
  • October 9, 2-3 p.m., Gabby Hughes, Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, Nature in Our Backyards
  • October 26, 7- 8 p.m., Faith Starr, Green with Faith, The Ying and Yang of Gardening: Mind Body and Spirit Gardening.
  • Look Up Lebo: This campaign, which already has “soft launched” with a new logo and stepped up enforcement, will be rolled out at the start of school. The goal is to improve pedestrian, vehicle and bicycle safety. A video will debut in early September, and Look Up Lebo will be the main municipal magazine feature story in September. More details are available on the municipal website at

  1. Landscaping Alternatives: The municipality has posted a list of “less preferred” plants on the municipal website and has modified the shrubs and flowers used in municipal planting areas to make these areas less attractive to deer.
  2. Ban on Deer Feeding: Ordinance #3212, enacted in June of 2012, prohibits the feeding of deer. Enforcement is limited because of fourth amendment rights and principally relies on residents to notify the municipality of violations.
  3. Repellents: The municipal website lists deer-deterrent products that can be applied to plantings to reduce attractiveness or palatability.
  4. Fencing: The municipality’s zoning ordinance permits the installation of fencing that can potentially limit access to property by deer.
  5. Sterilization: The municipality has pursued the possibility of a sterilization program through discussions with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. At this point, the Game Commission is unwilling to approve a deer sterilization research project in Mt. Lebanon. Letters from the Game Commission related to this issue are on the municipal website. The municipality intends to continue this discussion with the Game Commission.
  6. GIS mapping: A GIS map displaying the location of vehicle-related deer incidents between May 2011 and June 2016 is posted on the municipal website. Note: because of date limitations, only about 50 percent of reported deer/vehicular incidents were able to be mapped.
In addition to these measures, the Commission has listened to a presentation on motion and auditory deterrents to deer. Such deterrents can be effective initially, but since deer are highly adaptable, they quickly become used to deterrents, making the devices less effective over time. A neighboring community installed a “Streiter-Lite” system from 1999 to 2003 but removed the system in 2003 after determining it had not been effective in reducing deer vehicular collisions.

Lethal Methods:

  1. Controlled Archery Hunt: 2015-2016 Season: White Buffalo, Inc., a wildlife management firm, was hired to screen, train and manage the archers who conducted a bow hunt last fall. The archers were required to show experience through harvest verification and were required to have a Bow Hunter Education Certification before beginning. The hunt took place on the following public properties: Conservation District (Connor/Terrace Road), Golf Course, McNeilly Park and Robb Hollow Park as well as the adjacent public works property. Off-duty police officers were the only hunters permitted to hunt on public properties. In addition, interested residents worked directly with White Buffalo to donate their properties for the program. A total of 104 deer were removed through this program. Total cost: $15,460. Read summary report at
  2. Sharpshooting, 2015–2016 Season: White Buffalo, Inc. was hired to cull up to 150 deer under a political subdivision permit issued by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The cull took place on the following public properties: Municipal Golf Course, McNeilly Park,and Robb Hollow Park as well as the adjacent public works property. Interested residents worked directly with White Buffalo to donate their properties for the program. The cull took place over 13 days between February 25 and March 8. 115 deer were removed. Total cost: $74,375. Read summary report at
  3. Controlled Archery Hunt, 2016-2017 Season: The Commission will consider a contract proposal from White Buffalo Inc. to conduct another controlled archery hunt following the same procedures as the 2015-2016 program. The Commission will consider this contact for award at the August 9, 2016 Commission meeting. Total cost: $9,000.

Deer Management Update (July 13, 2016)  

  • Deer Incidents Map (Vehicle Related (May 2011- June 2016)

Deer Management Update (July 12, 2016)  

Deer Management Update (July 6, 2016)


Deer Management Update (March 21, 2016)


Deer Management Update (February 23, 2016 updated March 18, 2016)  

For prior information, please review the Historical Deer Management Information Page