A survey designed to estimate Cape Girardeau's urban deer population is underway.
The Missouri Department of Conservation is working with the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Biology Department at Southeast Missouri State University to conduct the count using a spotlight on several night outings through the end of February.
Results should be available sometime in March, according to Matt Bowyer, a conservation department wildlife management biologist.
When deer are seen during an outing, a range finder determines distance between count takers and the deer. Data is run through a program that provides a density estimate for a particular area, which has been randomly selected.
The first outing was last week; the next one will be after the first of the year.
The department will present results to the city council and to the public before a special election in April. Voters will decide whether to allow bowhunting for deer inside city limits.
Cape Girardeau, MO