Deer Management – Sunfish Lake

This year will be the third year of Sunfish Lake’s Deer Management Plan.  Several years ago the City conducted a survey which revealed an excessive amount of deer, over three times the desirable herd size, within the City’s boundaries. Disproportionate deer populations can cause disease within the herd and starvation, especially if the winter season is particularly harsh as it was last year. The safest way to manage deer populations in metropolitan areas is through controlled hunting, often referred to as deer management plans.

As in the previous two years, this year’s management plan includes members of the Metro Bow Hunters Resource Base conducting four separate hunts, each of which consisting of three day periods, within the months of October, November, and December.  The exact hunting dates have not been established, but will be published on the City’s website once decided.  The hunt locations include both Musser Park and private landowners’ property, if they are suitable to hunting and owner permission is provided.  If you wish to allow hunting on your property or have questions concerning the City’s Deer Management Plan please contact Officer Matt Muellner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ice Fishing – Sunfish Lake

It is hard to believe, but winter is right around the corner and with that comes ice fishing, cross country skiing and other winter activities.  Please help your police department in trying to monitor who has legal assess to Sunfish Lake and who does not.  Winter seems to be the time of the year when police officers respond to the most trespassing complaints on lake property.  If residents wish to allow access to Sunfish Lake or another body of water via their property, the person must carry with them a permission slip signed by the resident landowner.  These permission slips can be obtained on the City’s website, printed out, and completed.

Snowbirds – Sunfish Lake

In the coming months, some families will fly south for the winter, leaving their Sunfish Lake homes vacant for a number of weeks. A lot can happen during that time and your police department is there to help. However, there are a few tips that homeowners can do to help your officers serve the Sunfish Lake community better:

· Eliminate signs of vacancy

o Mail, packages, and newspapers piling up communicate to everyone that no one has been home for a while and may likely not be home soon. Be sure to stop delivery or have someone take in your mail.

o Consider having someone use and place out your trash cans on their regularly weekly schedule.

o Dark houses between sunset and normal bedtimes communicate the house is not being used. There are many options to include timers and automated switches for your home’s lights and TVs that simulate use and occupancy. Consider a combination of several timers to activate/deactivate several times throughout the day for different lights and appliances.

§ If anyone is checking in on your residence, you may want to ask them to occasionally change which lights or TVs are left on at different times and close and leave open different interior doors.

§ Open windows can make it plain to see that no one is home. Closing the shades or blinds while leaving lights on will make it harder to discern if your home is unoccupied.

o Silence any house phones; continually unanswered phone calls are a dead give-away.

o Secure every exterior door and window. Disconnect your garage door opener and bring inside any keypad garage door opener.

o Unkempt property also shows that no one is using the property. Continue having your lawn mowed or raked. Arrange for snow removal immediately following any snowfall.

o Have someone occasionally park their car in your driveway or garage. Having tire tracks or footsteps in the snow leading into the garage door and exterior doors is a great sign of regular use

o The best way to show signs of occupancy, of course, is to have an occupant. Consider arranging for a trusted friend or family member to stay at your home while you are away.

· Visibility is the most important aspect of preventing crime. Consider lighting on your property and your neighbor’s view of your home to make your home a less attractive target of criminals.

· Consider who may read your (or your children’s) vacation plans that you post to social networking sites. Without proper security settings, anyone or several friends of friends that you do not know or trust may see your vacation plans. In addition, do not leave notes for friends, neighbors, or deliverymen on your doors or windows.

· Update or create a list of each appliance and items of value in your home. Include cost, serial number and description. Consider taking a picture or video recording of your inventory. Store this information in a safe and secure place that you can retrieve and supply to your insurance company or the police in case of loss. Such records can be valuable for losses due to fire and other destructive acts.

· Lastly, arrange for a local keyholder to respond to your home in case of emergency. Ask them to regularly check in on your residence. A crime that occurred within the last few hours is much easier to investigate than one that occurred sometime within the last few weeks.

o Inform your police department of your vacation plans, your contact information and your keyholder’s information. This information is confidential and secured in a police database.

o If you or your keyholder should discover evidence of forced entry (broken window, kicked-in door, footsteps in the snow around the perimeter, etc.), please DO NOT ENTER THE RESIDENCE! Call 911 and wait for officers to respond.

Following the above tips will greatly reduce the chance of criminal activity and assist your officers in protecting and safeguarding your home.