WARRENTON, Ore. (AP) — The Port of Astoria got city approval for nighttime hunts to kill deer causing a danger to aircraft at the Astoria Regional Airport.
Gary Kobes, airport manager, said the Port has 10 kill permits from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and more are available if needed, The Astorian reported.
“I got a call from the Coast Guard … that there were eight or 10 deer out on the runway one night, and went out the following night and, in about an hour’s time, spotted nine or 10 deer,” Kobes told the City Commission this week.
Deer are considered dangerous to aircraft when inside a fence surrounding the runways. A Learjet from the Canadian military struck an elk in the early 2000s and caught fire. Everyone escaped, but the plane was destroyed, Kobes said.
The Port has built a fence and put cattle guards on roadways around the airfield to keep animals out.
Volunteers will begin hunting in the coming week at night with spotlights to avoid people on the Airport Dike Trail, Kobes said. The hunts could happen over several weeks, he said, and the meat will be distributed to food banks.