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Iowa City Closes Parks So Sharpshooters Can Target High Deer Population

11 Dec, 2019

By: Michael Popke

In an effort to reduce the deer population in its municipal parks, the City of Iowa City, Iowa, will close eight of its parks from 3 p.m. to dawn every day from Dec. 1-22. A firm called White Buffalo Inc. “has been hired to strategically and professionally carry out sharpshooting measures,” according to a statement from the city.

The deer population in city parks is as high as 80 per square mile, city officials estimate; the goal is to bring that number down to 25 per square mile, while the Department of Natural Resources suggests a deer density of approximately 10 deer per square mile to protect vegetation.

Iowa City is the only municipality in the state that historically has consistently used professional sharpshooters to manage its deer population, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.

The current process is part of a five-year plan approved by city leaders earlier this year that will allow a 30-day public bow hunt in the following four years, according to the Press-Citizen.

There was no immediate word on whether or how the managed hunt will impact sports events that might have been scheduled in the affected parks.

For more information on how Iowa City officials are managing this strategy, click here

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