Park service considers shooting deer at Md., Va. battlefields

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The National Park Service is wrapping up a series of public meetings about the problems caused by large numbers of white-tailed deer on three Civil War battlefields in Maryland and Virginia.

The agency scheduled a public meeting Thursday at the Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick. Similar meetings were held this week at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg and Manassas National Battlefield Park in northern Virginia.

The agency says it is considering using sharpshooters to kill deer that are preventing forest regeneration by browsing on seedlings and saplings.

The parks service says the battlefield deer herds are four to 10 times bigger than the landscape can sustain.

Public deer hunting is prohibited on the battlefields.

Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania has used sharpshooters to control deer since 1995.