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Archers to begin hunting deer in 2 city parks on Sept. 30

City council approves plan for bow hunts to cull deer in 2 parks
City council approves plan for bow hunts to cull deer in 2 parks 02:43

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Select archers will be able to start hunting deer in two of Pittsburgh's parks on Saturday as part of a plan to cull the population.

From Sept. 30 through Dec. 9, the mayor's office said controlled bow hunts will take place in designated areas of Riverview and Frick parks. Hunts will resume Dec. 26 through Jan. 27, excluding Sundays. 

The city recommends that parkgoers wear bright colors when visiting the parks, stay on established trails and respect the space of the hunters. All dogs should be kept on a leash, as required by law. 

The city said white-tailed deer have taken over the parks, eating most of the tree sprouts and natural vegetation. After depleting that food source, the deer have been moving out, eating gardens and getting hit by cars. 

The city said the other options for deer management like birth control, castration and the transfer method aren't legal in Pennsylvania. 

The city sought 30 archers for the pilot program. The archers had to apply and undergo a background check, wildlife violation check and a "rigorous" archery proficiency test before they were accepted.

Another 30 archers were selected as backups, the city said. There's a "zero-tolerance statute" that will exclude them if they violate the rules. Per the program's requirements, they have to take a doe first and donate it to a food bank. On-site field dressing isn't allowed. 

The program is in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture. More information can be found on the city's website

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