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Bloomington Parks Board Considers Deer Sharpshooter Contract

The Bloomington parks board is considering a contract that would use sharpshooters to cull the deer population in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

deer enclosure

Photo: Jashin Lin

A deer exclosure in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve fences off a patch of forest so researchers can study what would happen to the forest without deer. Opponents of the sharpshooter ordinance say this exclosure does not show any significant differences than the surrounding area.

Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated the Bloomington city council, not the parks board was considering the contract.

The debate over a deer sharpshooting plan goes before Bloomington city officials at 4 p.m. today.

A newly formed citizens group, called Bloomington Advocates for Nonviolent Innovative Deer Stewardship, is urging the parks department to not enter the city into a contract to hire sharpshooters to kill up to 100 deer in the 1,200-acre Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

Supporters say research shows an overabundance of deer in the area is causing ecosystem damage, but opponents say there is no need for the costly and bloody sharpshooter program.

The city council approved the plan, but Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan vetoed the ordinance. Then the council overrode the veto.

The Bloomington parks board is now considering a contract to enact the ordinance.

The mayor would still need to sign-off on the $31,000 contract.

Network Indiana

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