WASHINGTON (AP) — Montgomery County parks officials say sharpshooters plan to begin killing deer in Rock Creek Park in February.

County parks official Bill Hamilton told WTOP that the deer will be killed humanely with shots to the head, which eliminates any suffering. Hamilton says surveys show there are 40 to 50 deer in the area and the county would like to cut that number in half. Officials say the herd is greater than the park can sustain and deer have been blamed for vehicle accidents and carrying ticks that cause Lyme disease.

Animal rights advocates had filed suit to prevent the hunt, arguing deer can be managed with nonlethal methods.

The hunt is scheduled at night on land between East-West Highway and the Capital Beltway.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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