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Sharpshooting team to thin state park's deer herd

The Associated Press
2/25/2004, 12:28 a.m. CT

PELHAM, Ala. (AP) -- About a month after bow hunters managed to kill only 27 deer at Oak Mountain State Park, the federal government is sending a team of marksmen to try to reduce the herd to a number the park can support.

Sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enter the park sometime in the next few weeks, state officials said Tuesday.

The shooters have been given a few weeks by state Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley to harvest an undetermined number of deer. The team will use rifles with suppressers to reduce the noise, said Frank Boyd, a state director for Wildlife Services in Alabama.

A harvest of mostly does is the goal of the hunt, and the venison will be donated to a food bank through the Hunters Helping the Hungry program.

Rain could delay the shooters for several days, said Jerry de Bin, chief information officer for the conservation department. The plan had been to begin the hunt Monday night but foul weather interfered, he said.

Campers at the park will be notified in advance, de Bin said.

The declining health of the herd was confirmed during the bow hunt last month. All the deer killed were underweight and in poor physical condition, de Bin said.

Friends of Oak Mountain, a park user group that supports the sharpshooters, said they were unaware of the timing of the kill but knew it had to be near.

"We understand that the department has to take measures where the end result will be an overall benefit to the park," said Scott Stone, the group's president. "We all can only hope that they place safety at the top of their list."

Officials would not speculate on the number of deer expected to be killed by the sharpshooters.

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Sharpshooters? They're turning the SWAT guys from Jefferson County loose in the woods with their suppresed M16's! Sharpshooters would lead you to believe that the team snipers with their bolt actions would be sneakin through the wood?
The guys at the food bank better have some metal detectors to check that venison with! Of course if you are going to deer hunt with an AR, having rock-n-roll gear should insure success.
The whole idea of the bowhunters in the first place was because they didn't think it was safe to let hunters loose in the park with firearms (uhhh? shotguns would'nt be safer than M16's) HELLO - o !?
And of course the tree huggers down here were pizzin and moanin about poor 'ol bambie - - - while not understanding that because there are so many animals in the park that the deer and several other animal families are starving because there ain't enough groceries to go around?
I think I'm gonna get some tannerite and go out to the range and blow sumpin up - just for theraputic purposes?
I mean after all, it is Ala-BAM-er where we still gots big hi cap magazines and 'chine gun stores and the cops go deer hunting with full auto assault weapons!

YEEEEHAW! Lock-N-load Bubba, here comes bambie!

:D :p

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I totaly agree with you max, its illegal to hunt in this state with a .223 round or 7.62x39 for deer, ill bet those swat guys will be using something a bit heavier--I recently read an article about how the deer population is exploding, and still the anti hunters dont want hunters to thin the herds--while the deer starve and trample the thier prescious lawns, ill sign up and pack my freezer with vineson, but nooooo- the anti hunters dont want them around, afraid to see bambi skinned and gutted, ----happiness is a warm gut pile,-- as a foot note while the white tail population has exploded, the mule deer, thats what we have here, is spiraling in to decline, go figure
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