It's not customary for Wollongong council to declare the official start of deer season.
But this year, with the problem already so bad that the pest animals are peering into suburban windows, the city has taken extra measures to warn people of the dangers they may present.
"We've culled 4000 deer since 2011, but the problem isn't getting any better," Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
"This is an annual occurrence and we anticipate people are already starting to see deer on a more regular basis around the city."
"When they're looking for a mate, they roam further afield. In addition, the bucks are also vying for territory and so people may hear their interactions.''
Wollongong is one of the most deer-affected urban areas in Australia, with car collisions and near misses, erosion in the escarpment and damage to residential property all increasing.
"The problem we have is that we live so close to the escarpment, so the built up area means we have a problem with getting hunters in for culling safely," Cr Bradbery said.
"We also have this mix of land owners, where water board land is next to national parks land and so on, so getting access has to be very tightly controlled.
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"In any measurement, it's not under control and resourcing of the cull needs to be dramatically increased."
Each year during Rusa rutting season, generally between May and August, their activity increases as they move down from the escarpment and into urban areas.
Last year - in the peak of the drought, which causes them to seek out more food from suburban gardens - they even made it to North Wollongong beach and ended up in the surf.
In recent weeks, deer have also been spotted at Bellambi Lagoon, a location which would have required them to cross the Princes Hwy and Memorial Drive, and travel through kilometres of residential area.
Cr Bradbery said the council contributed to a pool of funds with a number of different stakeholders, including the South East Local Land Services, who facilitate the Illawarra Wild Deer Management Program.
However, he said the effects of this were limited and needed to be better resourced, noting the deer mostly originated on state-managed national parks land.
"Deer are known to be highly adaptable and will modify their behaviour to threats, this poses a very real challenge for those trying to reduce their numbers in a safe and sustainable way," he said. "We have no other alternative but to live with this, until it becomes better resourced... but I don't think we will ever exterminate all deer."
He said Wollongong residents were advised to report any deer sightings to the FeralScan website or to the council, to give hunters from Local Land Services more information about where culls should be conducted.