President's Deer Herd Needs Culling

Camp David is overrun with whitetails

Outdoor Life Online Editor

On April 20th public comment will be sought regarding ways to manage the deer herd around Camp David, the famed presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains. The deer are rapidly destroying seedlings, plants and other vegetation on the forest floor. Their numbers are estimated at 112 to 192 deer per square mile. That's a little over the target density of 25 per square mile.

One solution the park committee is weighing would be to bring in sharpshooters to take out much of the herd. Of course, animal rights activists, namely the Humane Society of the United States, is crying foul. The organization would like to see non-lethal methods used.

Sharpshooters were used at nearby Gettysburg National Military Park to thin deer numbers. Since 1995 they have killed more than 1,800 deer and donated the meat to shelters and processing facilities.