Sharpshooters to Help Thin Deer Population in Chevy Chase

By Chris Gordon
|  Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013  |  Updated 9:54 PM EDT
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Sharpshooters to Hunt Deer in Chevy Chase

A group of hunters will go into part of Chevy Chase, Md., to help control an overwhelming deer population. News4's Chris Gordon reports.
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Sharpshooters will be going in to part of a Chevy Chase, Md., to help get the overwhelming deer population under control.

The Rock Creek trail is a popular hiking, biking and dog-walking path surrounded by trees and homes. Deer sleep there at night and have ravaged the area, residents say.

“The community garden, the deer have gotten in it and have gotten to the kale and the spinach, so I would be all for a hunt,” resident Dennis McKay said.

In February and March there will be a controlled hunt there. For the first time in Chevy Chase, Park Police sharpshooters with special weapons will be deployed to thin the heard in the 200-acre section of park between East-West Highway and the Beltway.

The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission notified neighbors of its deer management plan.

"And it's to remove a certain number of deer to bring the population down,” said Rob Gibbs, of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. “This is an area we’ve had complaints and concerns from citizens for at least the past 10 years or so."

Beginning last September, a survey was taken of people who live along the portion of Rock Creek Park, and 70 percent were in favor of deer management. Supporters of deer management noted that deer are dying in the woods.

And the venison will be distributed to area food banks to help feed the needy.

The sharpshooters will only hunt deer at night. The project will end March 31.

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