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Lake Elmo Park Preserve, Sunfish Lake Park to close for deer harvest

Lake Elmo Park Reserve and Sunfish Lake Park will be closed Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 15-16 for a controlled deer management harvest.

Only participants who have obtained a special lottery permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or the city of Lake Elmo will be allowed into the parks for the deer harvest.

All permits have been distributed. The participants will be required to attend a safety and deer harvest orientation course prior to the management project.

The deer herd in the park reserve and the adjacent Sunfish Lake Park has grown to 153 based upon a 2008 aerial survey. Wildlife managers estimate that 30 percent of the actual deer population is missed through aerial surveys. This means there are possibly upwards of 200 deer in the park area.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends that the deer population be maintained to 15-25 deer per square mile. The recommended deer herd size for Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Sunfish Lake Park and surrounding areas is 45-75.

The large concentration of deer has caused much browsing destruction to the trees and shrubs in the park and poses a traffic hazard as the deer cross the highways.

A hunt in conjunction with the regular deer hunting season will remove some of the deer in the park reserve, but more importantly, it will disperse many of the deer back to the areas from which they came.

All other parks in the Washington County and the city of Lake Elmo will be opened.

For more information about the Lake Elmo Park Reserve harvest, call (651) 430-8370.

Call the Lake Elmo City Hall at (651) 777-5510 for information pertaining to the Sunfish Lake Park harvest.