Lake Elmo Park Reserve will be site of deer harvest in November

A shotgun deer harvest in Lake Elmo Park Reserve (LEPR) will be conducted the first and second weekends in November to remove up to 80 deer from the park.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved the harvest July 21.

County park staff conducted an annual winter aerial survey of the deer population in and around LEPR within the City of Lake Elmo. As a result of the survey and in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it was concluded that the current deer population exceeds the carrying capacity of the park, which has a negative effect on the park and surrounding area. Overpopulation results in habitat and vegetation degradation, increased deer and vehicle accidents, and may increase risk for Lyme’s disease transmission.

The DNR has recommended that up to 80 deer be removed from the park to reduce the number of deer per square mile; the current population is four times greater than the recommended herd size. The harvest is scheduled for the first and second weekends in November, when the park will be closed to the public. Parks staff will work with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and DNR to conduct the harvest.

A harvest has been conducted six times in the park in the past 20 years, most recently in 2013.

 

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