|Culling of deer in Shawnee Mission Park could begin this week|
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks conducted a series of spotlight transect surveys in October and estimated there were 60.5 deer per square mile within the 3.2-square-mile greater Shawnee Mission Park management area. The district’s current target population for the herd is 50 deer per square mile.
“This further reduction of the herd is a continuation of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s efforts to efficiently and effectively manage the overabundance of deer in the park,” said Randy Knight, the district’s Community Relations Manger. “And just as it was last year, public safety has been our primary concern in preparing for the reduction,”
The safety procedures the district has incorporated into the operational plan include the following precautions:
- the culling will take place outside of normal park hours,
- the police officers will be using rifles with sound suppressors,
- all of the shots taken will be at short range and will be directed toward the interior of the park, and
- law enforcement personnel will closely monitor the perimeter of the park throughout the process.
The venison from the harvested deer will be distributed to needy families through area food pantries. The hides will be donated to the Elks' Veterans Leather Program to be tanned, cut and sewn into specially designed fingerless gloves for veterans confined to wheelchairs.
Additional information on the district’s deer management program is available on the district’s website at http://www.jcprd.com/parks_facilities/resource_management.cfm.