Metroparks of the Toledo Area is planning another deer cull in Oak Openings Metropark.
Metroparks plans to implement the program at Oak Openings, as well as Swan Creek Metropark, between Jan. 1 and March 31 to reduce deer populations using trained marksmen from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services. Metroparks commissioned law enforcement officers will also serve as marksmen.
Removal activities will take place for up to 11 nights during the time frame.
A total of 165 deer were removed from Oak Openings Metropark during a 2016 cull. Last year’s cull met with some resistance from area residents.
Metroparks most recent infrared count of deer in the Oak Openings Metropark area showed 548 deer.
The desired long-term goal for the Metroparks deer management program is to reduce deer-related damage to ecological resources at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, as well as the entire park district, to sustainable levels. The wild lupine is one plant officials are looking to protect. It is listed as potentially threatened by the Ohio Department of Natural Resouces and serves as a host plant for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly and Ohio endangered Persius dusky wing and frosted elfin butterflies.