Archive for Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kansas park may use sharpshooters to reduce deer

June 11, 2009, 3:37 p.m. Updated June 12, 2009, 12:13 a.m.

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— Park officials in a Kansas City suburb want to bring in sharpshooters next fall to kill about three-fourths of the deer in a park that they say is overpopulated.

If the park board agrees, it will be the first time Johnson County will use sharpshooters on public land, park spokesman Randy Knight said Thursday.

Surveys done in the past two years found 600 to 700 deer in the 2,230-acre Shawnee Mission Park, about seven times as many as expected in the areas just outside Kansas City. The population grew out of control after deer migrated from nearby areas that were being developed, Knight said.

The dense herd is causing car-deer accidents, prompting complaints from neighbors about property damage and raising the risk for tick-borne diseases, they said.

Park staff say the herd needs to be cut to 50 to 200 deer per square mile and this can best be done by killing them. Staff looked into other options and ways other counties have handled deer overpopulation and determined the sharpshooters were the most economical option, Knight said.

The park board will hear the staff’s recommendation Wednesday.

Specially trained park officers and local police would do the shooting, working a couple of mornings a week for several weeks, park officials said. They would work in areas where bait had been set out. The park would be closed but reopen later in the day.

Archers might be brought in later to further reduce the herd. The park would remain open then, although areas in which the archers were working would be off-limits to the public, Knight said.

Nicole Matthews, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said she was disappointed with the recommendation and that the use of archers was inhumane.

Park managers will continue to look into non-lethal ways to control the deer population in the future, Knight said.

Comments

Charlie Sabotage 5 years, 10 months ago

what are they going to do with the left over carcasses?

sinverguenza 5 years, 10 months ago

Think of how much money could be saved if we let helpful gun-toting citizens (autie/R_I) handle the project?

No need to take the park officers and local police away from their regular duties. Let people who enjoy using their guns do the work, and everybody's happy, right? Those shooters could have the same training if necessary.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

How about cluster bombs? Our government certainly has no problem using them in other heavily populated, civilian areas around the world.

oohmgrover 5 years, 10 months ago

They've already posted in another news site that the meat would be cured and given to the homeless population.

hujiko 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe if Johnson County would curb its growth a little, they wouldn't need to kill off the deer they already misplaced. When you encroach on wildlife, you give it very few options in where to go next, so don't be surprised if it moves back to where it once lived.

hujiko 5 years, 10 months ago

Pilgrim2: I didn't say a thing about development nearing Shawnee Mission Park, if you would read just a little more before jumping to conclusions you would see I mean development as a whole. Christ.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 10 months ago

This is one christian who would be grateful to be able to drop a deer or two and I would kindly donate the kill to anyone needing a bite to eat. But some deer jerky would be great!

hujiko 5 years, 10 months ago

Pilgrim2: You obviously don't get what I'm talking about. Why don't you stop posting "stupid comments on local newspaper web sites" and go pitch a tent while watching Faux News.

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