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Hunters have killed 60 deer in Pittsburgh parks, donated 6,200 meals to food banks

Pittsburgh hopes to cull 30 deer from parks
Pittsburgh hopes to cull 30 deer from parks 02:20

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Hunters have killed over 60 deer during a controlled hunt in two of Pittsburgh's parks, donating approximately 1,500 pounds of meat to local food banks. 

CitiParks provided an update on the city's deer management pilot program, saying the 64 deer harvested from Frick and Riverview parks have resulted in about 6,200 meals. 

In a Facebook post, CitiParks says Hunters Sharing the Harvest is donating a majority of the meat and covers the cost of butchering. The program sets an annual goal of giving back 100,000 pounds of venison to local communities. 

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, an average-sized deer can provide enough high-protein, low-fat meat for 200 servings. Last season, hunters statewide donated over 235,000 pounds of venison from more than 6,200 deer, providing about 1.25 million servings. 

Pittsburgh's pilot program is trying to control the deer population. 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. There's a "zero-tolerance statute" that will exclude hunters 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. 

During the hunts, 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. 

According to the city's website, the hunts will take place during Allegheny County's archery season. The hunts started Sept. 30 and will continue through Dec. 9 then pick up again Dec. 26 through Jan. 27, excluding Sundays. 

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