Sharpshooters to Reduce Rock Creek’s Deer Population

James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

The National Park Service will again use sharpshooters to reduce the white-tailed deer population in Washington's Rock Creek Park.

NPS is killing deer in the park in order to protect plant and animal habitat. Right now, there are an estimated 77 deer per square mile. The goal is to reduce the population to no more than 20 per square mile.

Back in April, sharpshooters killed 20 deer, reducing the deer population in the park by roughly 10 percent. Park Superintendent Tara Morrison says the park will try to reduce the number of deer by half every year for three years.

The park service will not release specific details regarding the "lethal reduction efforts," but officials say the sharpshooters will be brought in at night through the end of March. Temporary road closures will be in effect during reduction efforts to keep visitors safe.

Venison from the deer killed last week will be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter.

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