WASHINGTON — More than eight tons of venison were donated to food banks and soup kitchens in Maryland after the conclusion of deer-reducing operations at national parks in the state.
NPS officials have been preserving Antietam and Monocacy National Battlefields and the 5,810 acre Catoctin Mountain Park by hiring sharpshooters to reduce the white-tailed deer population in the areas. The deer cull was implemented to protect and preserve the historic and natural scenery.
“Overabundant deer populations do immense damage to vegetation an eat nearly all tree seedlings so forests cannot sustain themselves,” said the NPS news release.
Park officials in Civil War sites Antietam and Monocacy used “deer management plans” since December 2016. Those strategies have been in Catoctin since 2010, where officials say there has been an increase in the density of plant-life in the area.
Park officials said that more than eight tons of venison were donated to various food banks and soup kitchens including Maryland Food Bank, Thurmont Food Bank, Help Hotline and Lunch Place soup kitchen.