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NEWS | April 24, 2020

USDA Wildlife Services complete deer removal project on Joint Base MDL

By Daniel Barney Joint Base MDL Public Affairs

The United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services accomplished the Community Based Deer Management Project which took place at the Falcon Creek golf course on Joint Base MDL in the weeks of March 9th and 16th. The project was aimed to reduce the risk of aircraft and deer collisions around the airfield.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Scott Heinlein, 305th Air Mobility Wing flight safety officer, remembers the time when the deer issue came into fruition.

“As a C-17 Globemaster III pilot, I became aware of the potential for deer on the airfield during my first ‘fly safe’ briefing as part of in-processing back in 2018,” said Heinlein. “When I became a flight safety officer, I developed to be much more aware of the issue.”

Joint Base MDL partnered with the CBDMP for the 305th AMW and the USDA Wildlife Services to control the issue. The Civil Engineering Natural Resources and Security Forces also offered their partnership toward the project.

Michael Luna, 305th AMW Flight Safety USDA wildlife biologist, led the CBDMP to manage the deer population; alleviating the possibility of deer entering the airfield environment.

“Managing the deer population on Joint Base MDL reduces the pressure on the airfield fenced in areas that are not managed by the hunting program, and overall reduces the risk of aircraft and deer collisions,” said Luna.

Over the span of two nights, the USDA Wildlife Services removed 16 deer from the base. After being field-dressed, the deer were shipped and donated to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program.

The program delivered 787 pounds of deer meat to local food banks. This achievement led to providing over 3,000 meals for families in need.

“The operation was completed safely and effectively,” said Luna. “The USDA Wildlife Services will continue to monitor and survey deer populations in close proximity to the airfield fence. The coordination and amount of work leading up to the operation is substantial, and we are grateful for everyone that helped out.”