The city will contract with Metro Bowhunters Resource Base to cull the city's deer herd for a fourth year in a row.

The City Council approved a controlled archery hunt March 17.

In 2001, the council adopted a deer management plan to reduce the deer population to a range that the natural habitat can support, which is 15 to 20 deer per square mile of natural habitat.

Controlled archery hunts culled 70 deer in 2011, 63 in 2012 and 48 in 2013. An aerial survey in early March found 170 deer in the city and 28 additional deer just across the border in Champlin.

Culling the deer herd in recent years has reduced the number of auto accidents from 105 in 2011 to 66 in 2013. Metro Bowhunters does not charge for their services and will conduct the hunt in the fall.

Shannon Prather

Twitter: @Stribshannon