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R657-65 – Urban Deer Control

KEY: wildlife

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: August 9, 2013

Notice of Continuation: New rule

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-3; 23-14-18; 23-14-19

R657-65-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This rule is promulgated under authority of Sections 23-14-3, 23-14-18, and 23-14-19.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to establish and evaluate a two year pilot program with Bountiful City, Utah and Highland City, Utah that enables each to design and administer a control plan for the lethal and non-lethal removal of resident deer damaging private property or threatening public safety within the municipality.

R657-65-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.

(2) In addition:

(a) "Deer" means wild mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) living in nature and does not include privately owned, captive deer.

(b) "Division" means the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

(c) "Municipality" means Bountiful City in Davis County, Utah and Highland City in Utah County, Utah.

(d) "Urban deer control plan" means a document designed, created, and administered by an authorized municipality that establishes the protocols and methodologies it will pursue to control and mitigate private property damage or public safety threats caused by mule deer within its incorporated boundaries.

R657-65-3. Authorization to Create and Administer an Urban Deer Control Plan.

(1) A municipality with a resident mule deer population that is significantly damaging private property or threatening public safety within its boundaries may request the Division for a certificate of registration ("COR") to design, create, and administer an urban deer control plan.

(2) The Division may issue an urban deer control plan COR to a municipality, provided:

(a) the application is filed by a municipality;

(b) resident mule deer are collectively causing significant damage to private property or threatening public safety within the municipality's incorporated boundaries;

(c) it has enacted an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of deer, elk, and moose;

(d) it has general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.00 or more that covers liability claims that may arise from designing, creating, and administering an urban deer control plan; and

(e) it agrees, without waiving immunity or any other limitation or provision in the Utah Governmental Immunity Act, Utah Code §§ 63G-7-101 through 63G-7-904, to hold harmless and indemnify the Division against any claims or damages arising from its deer removal activities undertaken pursuant to the urban deer control plan COR, except for any allocated share of fault and damages attributable to the Division's actual involvement in deer removal activities on the ground.

R657-65-4. COR Authorities and Limitations.

(1) An urban deer control plan COR issued to a municipality authorizes it to design, create, and administer an urban deer control plan consistent with the following authorities and limitations.

(2) The COR authorizes the municipality to:

(a) prescribe and employ lethal and non-lethal methods of take to control deer, provided the methods are otherwise in compliance with state and federal law;

(b) utilize baiting to facilitate safe and effective deer removal activities;

(c) select and supervise individuals to perform specified deer removal activities, provided the municipality:

(i) issues to each individual authorized to remove deer a written authorization and tag that:

(A) is on a form prescribed by the Division;

(B) is signed by the city manager and recipient;

(C) identifies the recipient's name, address, date of birth, gender, height, weight, and eye color;

(D) describes the locations, time periods, methods of take, and related activities authorized by the municipality; and

(E) includes a detachable tag consistent with the requirements in Section 23-20-30;

(d) allow a single individual to take more than one deer; and

(e) permit spotlighting to facilitate non-lethal deer removal or carcass recovery efforts.

(3) The municipality will:

(a) require individuals authorized to lethally remove deer to:

(i) tag the carcass consistent with Section 23-20-30; and

(ii) comply will all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the possession, use, and discharge of a dangerous weapon; and

(b) take measures to ensure that:

(i) deer carcasses are salvaged consistent with Section 23-20-8 and disposed of as provided by law;

(ii) viscera is removed from the kill site and disposed of as provided by law; and

(iii) antlers of lethally removed deer are promptly surrendered to the Division and not retained by the municipality or the person that takes the animal.

(4) The municipality will not:

(a) capture a deer for release outside municipal boundaries without a written capture and relocation plan prepared in coordination with and approved by the Division;

(b) sell or barter a deer carcass or otherwise use it for pecuniary gain without prior written approval from the Division;

(c) collect a fee or compensation from a person or entity it authorizes to remove deer from its incorporated boundaries, unless the fee or compensation is:

(i) $50 or less;

(ii) used exclusively to recoup the actual costs incurred by the municipality in:

(A) selecting and qualifying the person; or

(B) butchering and processing lethally removed deer for donation; and

(iii) approved by the Division in writing;

(d) undertake or authorize deer removal activities outside:

(i) incorporated municipal boundaries or any unincorporated areas approved by the Division and the county; or

(ii) the general time frame imposed by the Division;

(e) remove more deer, collectively or by gender, than authorized by Division; or

(f) authorize the discharge of firearms or archery equipment for deer removal:

(i) between one half hour after official sunset and one half hour before official sunrise; or

(ii) in violation of federal, state, or local laws.

R657-65-5. Urban Deer Control Plan.

(1) Upon receipt of an urban deer control plan COR, the municipality must prepare an urban deer control plan consistent with this Subsection prior to undertaking any deer removal activities.

(2) The urban deer control plan will address and prescribe, at a minimum, the:

(a) lethal and non-lethal methods of take that may be used to remove deer and the conditions under which each may be employed;

(b) conditions and restrictions under which baiting and spotlighting may be used to facilitate deer removal;

(c) persons eligible to perform deer removal activities and the requirements imposed on them;

(d) locations and time periods where specified types of deer removal activities may be employed or authorized;

(e) requirements for tagging deer carcasses;

(f) protocols for carcass removal and disposal;

(g) procedures for promptly returning to the Division all antlers of lethally removed deer; and

(h) procedures for obtaining Division input and approval on live capture and relocation projects.

(3) All aspects of the plan must be consistent with the authorizations and limitations imposed in this rule and the COR.

(4)(a) The municipality will solicit and consider input in the formulation and development of the urban deer control plan from:

(i) the Division;

(ii) the public;

(iii) interested businesses and organizations; and

(iv) local, state, and federal governments.

(b) The Division may provide technical assistance to the municipality in preparing the urban deer control plan.

(c) After formulating a draft plan, the municipality will hold a public meeting to take and consider input on the draft before finalizing or implementing it.

(5) The municipality will assume full responsibility for:

(a) all costs associated with designing, establishing, implementing, and operating the urban deer control plan and all its associated activities; and

(b) for the acts and omissions of its officers, employees, agents, contractors, and licensees in designing, preparing, and implementing its urban deer control plan and undertaking the activities authorized thereunder.

R657-65-6. COR Term and Termination.

(1) An urban deer control plan COR issued under this rule will remain valid for two years from the date of issuance or until August 31, 2015, whichever is less.

(2)(a) A municipality may unilaterally withdraw an urban deer control plan and terminate the COR without cause upon 30 days advance written notice to the Division.

(b) Upon termination of the COR, the municipality and its officers, employees, agents, contractors, and licensees must cease all deer removal activities formally authorized by the COR.

R657-65-7. Violations.

Pursuant to Section 23-19-9, the division may suspend, restrict, or deny an urban deer control plan COR for any intentional, knowing, or reckless violation of the Wildlife Code, this rule, or the terms of the COR.

R657-65-8. Sunset.

This rule sunsets on August 31, 2015 and all COR's and other authorizations issued hereunder will terminate by operation of law and cease having further legal effect.

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