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Deer harvest is scheduled at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Elmo Park Reserve will be closed to the public for the first and second weekends in November so that a deer harvest can be conducted at the park.

Washington County park staff conducted a winter aerial survey of the deer population over Lake Elmo Park Reserve and the City of Lake Elmo last winter. Working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it was determined that the park is overpopulated with deer. This, according to an agenda item from the July 21 Washington County Board of Commissioners meeting, has a negative effect on the area.

“Overpopulation results in habitat and vegetation degradation, increased deer and vehicle accidents, and may increase the risk for Lyme disease transmission,” according to the agenda memo.

The DNR recommends reducing the number of deer per square mile. The park reserve’s deer population is up to four times greater than the recommended herd size, so the DNR has indicated that up to 80 deer should be removed from the park.

The most effective manner to remove the deer is a shotgun harvest, according to the memo. The harvest will be held the first and second week in November, which means the park will be closed to the public for that period. Parks staff will work with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the DNR to conduct the harvest.

This removal technique has been used six times in the past 20 years, most recently in 2013. 

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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