Baltimore Co. Approves Controlled Deer Hunts

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County parks like Oregon Ridge have been approved for deer removal, though the word “hunting” is nowhere in the paperwork.

Alex DeMetrick reports something different will be tried, even though the end result is still a bullet.

Managed deer hunts, like the ones at Loch Raven Reservoir, have relied in large measure on the arrows and bullets of recreational hunters.  That has not set well with many nearby homeowners.

“It’s horrible.  We had deer on the side of Dulaney Valley Road that aren’t dead,” said Enid Feinberg.

But at county parks like Oregon Ridge, too many deer are devouring too much foliage.

“They are hearty eaters and they are destroying [forests],” said Shannon Davis.

That put the Baltimore County Council in the middle.  To hunt or not to hunt?

“We don’t want it to be a managed hunt, so to speak,” said County Councilman Tom Quirk.

For activists like Feinberg, there is a more humane way.  This past winter, she helped support the spaying and release of 32 wild deer.  It’s a practice deer cooperator programs can do.

“We want an ongoing dialogue about alternatives,” Councilman David Marks said.

But a bullet is still cheaper than a vet hired to sterilize a deer.

It’s not likely park visitors will see much.  In the interest of safety, the law that doesn’t call deer killing “hunting” and it will be done at night.

Even though the county is choosing to use private contractors for deer removal in its parks, the state Department of Natural Resources will set the rules and standards.

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