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Deer count indicates additional herd reduction needed in Shawnee Mission Park
POSTED: 11/24/2009
 
Earlier this month the District conducted an initial culling within the greater Shawnee Mission Park area in an effort to reduce the number of deer to an estimated 50 deer per square mile. With the assistance of wildlife biologists and scientists, local law enforcement sharpshooters culled 313 deer from the herd in a four day period that began on Nov. 1.

A series of KDWP surveys immediately prior to the culling estimated the average number of deer per square mile to be 148. In 2007 and 2008 the agency had estimated the number to be 208 and 195 respectively.

Based on the latest survey data and in accordance with the deer management plan approved by the Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners in June, specially certified archers will now assist the District in achieving the 50-deer-per-square-mile target. This secondary harvest is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and could continue through the month of January. It will be confined to closed and restricted areas of the park, and it will not impact regular park hours or interfere with regular park use.

Fifteen archers have been carefully screened and selected by the District to assist with the harvest. Over 130 archers had requested notification of the screening process and 32 submitted applications by the Oct. 5 deadline.

In addition to complying with all applicable state hunting requirements, the qualifying archers were required to pass an archery proficiency test and complete a special training program specific to deer management in Shawnee Mission Park.

At the completion of the secondary harvest, multiple surveys will be conducted to estimate and monitor the remaining deer in the park. The resulting data will be used to assist in developing effective strategies for the District’s ongoing deer management efforts. In each subsequent phase, the particular strategy or combination of strategies best suited for existing needs and conditions will be implemented.

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