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Deer culling back in Toledo Metroparks in January

Toledo Metropark Commissioners approved deer culling to continue in their parks in 2018. (WNWO)

Toledo Metropark commissioners say their population is too high, and they want to continue their work on controlling the deer population.

This week, commissioners decided to once again enlist federal help to bring those numbers down. While it's nice to have the wildlife, too many deer can lead to bigger problems.

"It's an issue for us of sustainability of the parks, and overpopulation depletes the resources here for everything that lives in the parks, eventually including the deer themselves," said Metroparks Spokesman, Scott Carpenter.

To prevent that from happening, Toledo Metroparks plans to bring in professionals to kill a percentage of the deer. Last year, 200 deer were killed during the hunts.

This will be the third season that the parks commission contracts the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, allowing their crews to come into parks this January through March.

"The agreement will allow them to continue working for, at least the next two seasons, including this winter. They supply the marksmen. Those folks work alongside metroparks staff to supply deer culls over the winter," added Carpenter.

The deal costs $28,014. The commission now needs to get approval from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. They expect to have that in the next three weeks.

Following approval, they can then schedule times for the culls, determine what parks they will take place at, and the amount of deer that will be killed.

"These are professionals, who do this for a living. They deal with people-animal conflicts all over the country. This agency has a very long record of doing so."

The plan for the metroparks is to donate all of the ground venison from the culls to local charities in Toledo. Last year, just short of 10,000 pounds were donated.

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