Shawnee Mission, Kansas – Driving the rolling roads of Shawnee Mission Park's two square miles isn't as serene as it used to be. On summer evenings at dusk, traffic and rowdy kids populate the roads as deer graze quietly nearby. A recent Park Board report says that killing some of the deer is the most effective and economical solution to the overpopulation problem. Johnson County's Park Board holds a public hearing on the matter.
The twelve-hundred acre park is currently home to about four hundred deer. That's about eight times more deer than a park that size should have, according to wildlife scientists. The deer might damage the park ecology. They are eating neighbors' plants, and threatening the community with ticks and potential traffic accidents.
Officials say sharpshooters and archers could hunt the deer a couple of mornings while the park is closed to the public. While most members favor non-lethal means of managing the herd, the Park Board says the cost of moving the animals out of the park or using fertility methods is too high.
A copy of the Park Board's recommendations is posted at www.jcprd.com.