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161 Deer Culled From Catoctin Mountain Park

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THURMONT, Md. (AP) — The National Park Service says government sharpshooters killed 161 white-tailed deer at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont in the fourth year of a herd-reduction program.

Superintendent Mel Poole says the park donated 1,900 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.  Public hunting in the park is prohibited.

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

The program has eliminated 812 deer from the park since it began.

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

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