Cornell UniversityThe Nature Conservancy

Community Example: Altoona, Wisconsin

Key facts

  • Altoona began its deer management program with paid sharpshooting and today runs an all-volunteer archery hunt
  • Community Size: Small city or village (less than 10,000 people)
  • Region: Midwest
    • Plan established in 2004

    In Altoona, Wisconsin (approximate population 7,300) citizen complaints about an increase in deer-vehicle collisions and damage to landscaping and gardens led the City Council to take action. City leaders created a formal public comment period prior to selecting an action alternative, and Altoona's deer management program was launched in 2004. Initially, Altoona hired sharpshooters to thin the deer herd, an effective but expensive endeavor. A city employee suggested allowing archery hunting within city limits as an alternative. The City consulted with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to establish a safe way to conduct an annual archery hunt. Altoona considers the all-volunteer archery hunt to be more practical for their circumstances—and this option has been facilitated for other Wisconsin communities through the passage of a state law in 2013 loosening restrictions on deer hunting in urban areas.