Antietam and Monocacy National Battlefields Implement Deer Management Plans

FREDERICK, Md. (KR) In December federal sharpshooters will being targeting hundreds of white-tailed deer at two local battlefields to curb damage to the forest and plants.
The National Park Service says both Monocacy and Antietam National Battlefields have deer populations more than 10 times greater than the commonly accepted sustainable density of 15 to 20 per square mile. Spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles says portions of the park will be closed periodically through March.
“In 2014, Antietam and Monocacy both finalized a deer management plan along with Manassas National Battlefield. Since Monocacy, Antietam and Catoctin are so close the plans are being implemented together,” said Anzelmo-Sarles.
She said the Catoctin Mountain Park has actively worked to reduce the deer population and has seen positive results for the forest.
“They have has a 10-fold increase in the seedling density, so what that means is the forest are able to regenerate because deer eat all those seedlings before they can grow, taking away the habitat and the food for other animals,” said Anzelmo-Sarles.
Anzelmo-Sarles says the meat will go to local food banks. She said park-goers should call ahead of their visit, but the shooting will not cause any problems while at the battlefields.