News

Park staff thin the deer herd at Gettysburg

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 3, 2013 2:53 AM
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(Gettysburg) -- The latest shots fired on the Gettysburg battlefield are part of the National Park Service’s deer management program.

Gettysburg National Military Park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon says the annual program runs October through March.

She says it helps to regenerate the historic woodlots that played a role in the fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago.

"Only federal employees do the shooting," she says. "They are employees of Gettysburg National Military Park and are essentially our natural resource specialists."

Lawhon says the Park Service plans to shoot between 200 and 250 deer, which would help them reach their goal of 25 deer per square mile of forest.

All deer harvested will be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease. Venison from the deer that test negative will be distributed to local food banks.

Gettysburg’s deer management program dates back to 1995, making it first National Park east of the Mississippi to manage its white-tailed deer.

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