If Helenans see a sport utility vehicle cruising slowly in neighborhoods in the wee hours of the morning with the occupants looking through binoculars and using spotlights, it may not be cause for alarm.
The Helena Police Department will begin its annual deer count this week.
Beginning Thursday night, officers will be driving a specific route through the city in a blue Jeep looking for deer. Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said the hours of the search will run from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. on eight nights, ending on Oct. 6.
“The goal is to have 25 deer per square mile,” McGee said.
The results and possible recommendation on any further action will then be brought to the city commission.
After deer incidents became a safety concern about six years ago, the Urban Deer Management Plan was born. Since then, police have trapped and killed hundreds of deer, with the meat going to Helena Food Share.