Sharpshooters Kill 226 Deer In Catoctin National Park

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THURMONT, Md. (AP) — The National Park Service says sharpshooters killed 226 white-tailed deer at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont in the third year of a herd-reduction program.

Superintendent Mel Poole said Tuesday that the park donated 5,100 pounds of venison to food banks.

Park officials say eliminating some deer will allow the forest to recover from excessive browsing by a herd that is far too large.

They say the program will continue annually until the deer population reaches a level that allows the forest to regenerate at a healthy rate.

Public hunting is prohibited in the park.

The herd-reduction program has eliminated 651 deer from the park since it began.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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