Valley Forge National Historical Park

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Opponents ask lawmakers to stop Valley Forge deer hunts

November 2, 2009, 7:10 am
Opponents of a plan to kill hundreds of deer at Valley Forge National Historical Park are asking members of Congress to halt the effort before the shooting starts.

Officials at the park, the site of the Continental Army's 1777-78 encampment, want to reduce a deer population now estimated at 1,277 to between 165 and 185 over four years. They say the herd is eating so many plants, shrubs and saplings that the forest cannot regenerate.

Under the plan, the animals would be lured to areas baited with apples and grain, and federal employees or contractors would hunt them with high-powered rifles equipped with silencers. Officials have said that the first hunt will take place between November and March but have refused to say exactly when.

Opponents, who say the park is ignoring more humane and less costly options such as contraception, have petitioned members of Congress representing the area.