Eden Prairie's deer management program was instituted in the 1990s after a resident task force extensively studied deer overpopulation in Eden Prairie and presented its findings to the City Council.
Before the program was implemented, there were nearly 280 deer-versus-vehicle collisions per year in Eden Prairie — a number which has now fallen to less than 30 per year.
The goal of the program is to maintain the white-tailed deer population within the City at 20 to 25 deer per square mile of suitable habitat. This is in accordance with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) guidelines, which state that one square mile of good habitat can reasonably support 20 to 25 deer.
Typically deer management occurs bi-annually during the winter months in multiple sites throughout the City. The City hires United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wildlife professionals who work to reduce the City’s deer population beginning at dusk and into the evening when deer are most active.
Contact the Parks and Natural Resources Division at 952-949-8535 with questions about the City's deer management program.
Safety concerns can be directed to the Police Department at 952-949-6200.
Information About Feeding Deer in Suburban Areas
The artificial feeding of deer results in multiple family units of deer being attracted to or “patterned” to modify their normal feeding areas. Wild deer should live and move through their non-residential habitat feeding on a wide variety of native plants. However, when corn or other feed is introduced they tend to feed more on the yard plants of adjacent residential properties as they move to and away from the artificial feeding source.
In addition, having piles of food available will concentrate deer in residential areas where they then become less wary of humans and cars due to frequent contact. This interaction makes them more likely to be struck by a car or run into a picture window or the patio door of a home.
Finally, artificial feeding makes deer more reliant on the “easy food” and can modify their health. Wild deer can become dependent on feed stations and spend an abnormal amount of time in and around the neighboring residential properties. This can lead to other types of property damage such as bucks rubbing on the trunks of small trees and an accumulation of deer feces on lawn areas.
For these reasons, the City of Eden Prairie and the Minnesota DNR do not recommend supplemental feeding of deer.