Shawnee Mission, Kansas –
The Johnson County Park Board said yesterday Phase One of the deer management program was over in Shawnee Mission Park. Sharpshooters and county police killed 313 deer in efforts to reduce overpopulation.
The Park Board said yesterday deer were shot at night under tight security. They didn't reduce the herd enough, however, and the park's ecosystem is in danger, according to wildlife biologists.
They say there should be 50 deer per square mile in the 3 1/2 square mile park. Before the hunt, there were 200 per square mile.
But animal rights activist Jason Miller, who organized a vocal and graphic opposition to the hunt, says the park board chose a violent method to reduce the herd instead of non-lethal means offered by animal rights activists.
"They're talking in terms of having murdered in a gruesome and grizzly way 313 sentient beings, innocent, semi-tame deer. You could almost drive your car up to them and they wouldn't run", Miller said.
Jason Miller says his group has a lawyer and will seek an injunction against park officials. It's likely they will open the park to bow hunters with permits in December.