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Deer management program to begin Saturday at Gettysburg National Military Park

The park will conduct lethal removal of deer from October through March as part of the plan.
Credit: FOX43
Deer in Pennsylvania

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site will soon begin conducting the lethal removal of white-tailed deer as part of its White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, the park announced Wednesday.

Planned to run from October through March 2023, the deer removal "addresses over-browsing of native vegetation and agricultural crops and is a management strategy that supports long-term protection, preservation, and restoration of critical elements of the cultural landscape and other natural and cultural resources while maintaining a deer population at both park units," the park said in a press release.

The cultural landscapes of both park units are fundamental resources and critical to the interpretation of the events that took place at each park, the press release said.

Hunting is not permitted inside the two parks, so only qualified federal employees will take part in the effort to manage the deer populations affecting the parks.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services will be doing the work under an inter-agency agreement with the National Park Service (NPS). 

NPS closely coordinates all activities associated with the implementation of the plan with the Borough of Gettysburg, surrounding Townships including Cumberland, Mount Joy and Straban, state law enforcement officials and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In June of 2017, the Pennsylvania Game Commission designated a new Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Area which includes a portion of Gettysburg National Military Park and all of Eisenhower National Historic Site. 

For this culling season, all culled deer will be tested for CWD regardless of which area they are taken from.

Once negative CWD tests are confirmed, all venison will be donated to local area food banks and non-profits via United Way of Adams County. 

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