View Full Version : IA: Cold weather doesn't deter sharpshooter

Bob S
01-19-2008, 07:06 PM
ARTICLE (http://www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008801190308)

January 19, 2008

Man's job is to reduce area deer population

By Lee Hermiston
Iowa City Press-Citizen

It's going to take more than minus 30 degree wind chills to keep sharpshooter Tony DeNicola from finishing his job.

Although the National Weather Service is predicting temperatures of minus 4 degrees today, DeNicola, the owner of White Buffalo Inc., will be up in his deer stand. This weekend, DeNicola and his team will wrap up their two-week stay in Iowa City trimming the deer population.

"If you're comfortable, you're not going to be very productive," DeNicola said of the weather forecast. "You just have to suck it up."

The cold is something DeNicola can deal with. In fact, 20 to 30 degrees below zero pales to expeditions in Mongolia, where he said temperatures were consistently 30 to 40 degrees below zero with winds constantly whipping over the tundra.

Even the snow, which has kept the area almost completely white since the beginning of December, is not a problem. In fact, DeNicola said the powder helps him do his job by covering acorns and brush that deer feed on, thus making the bait he sets out more attractive.

DeNicola said it's been another successful year maintaining the deer population in Iowa City. He has been coming to Iowa City since 1999, when the community became the first in the state to use sharpshooters to control the deer population.

DeNicola said that he and his two crew members will have killed about 90 to 95 deer in the area during their recent stay, which is consistent after a spike last year when new regions were added to DeNicola's coverage area. This is DeNicola's second year shooting on University of Iowa property, which he said has been successful.

"We're basically on maintenance mode from here on out," DeNicola said.

As with other years, the carcasses are being taken to Ruzicka's in Solon to be processed. DeNicola said, on average, each carcass yields about 45 pounds of meat that is distributed to the Salvation Army.

Though his work is somewhat controversial, DeNicola said he still enjoys coming to Iowa City and maintains a good relationship with the people he encounters.

"All of the homeowners are great folks," he said. "It makes it fun. It's the people that make the project enjoyable."

And while most of us will probably try to stay indoors while DeNicola weathers the frigid temperatures, he may be the one who gets the last laugh when he leaves on Sunday.

"It's the end of the project," DeNicola said. "I'm going to California."