A controlled hunt of the deer population in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., began Wednesday evening, according to the Washington Post.
The hunt will last four days and has a goal of reducing the deer population from “more than 70 per square mile to 15 to 20.”
The hunt has drawn criticism from some who prefer contraception as a means to reduce the population rather than guns.
The Washington Post reports:
The Park Service said an overabundance of white-tailed deer over the past 20 years has had a negative impact.
Officials cited the consumption of “too many tree seedlings,” preventing proper regeneration of the forest.
The aim is to improve the park’s health and diversity and to support native vegetation and other wildlife, officials said.