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Total of deer killed in Mill Creek MetroParks reaches 204

YOUNGSTOWN — The number of deer killed in the Mill Creek MetroParks during its controversial deer removal program Oct. 1 through Jan. 28 stands at 204.

That includes 166 killed through “controlled hunts” that took place at various MetroParks sites with hunters selected through an Ohio Department of Natural Resources lottery to use firearms and bows, Nick Derico, MetroParks natural resources manager, said.

An additional 38 deer were removed through the MetroParks “targeted” removal program, which involved U.S. Department of Agriculture-employed sharpshooters killing deer over two nights in Mill Creek Park in Boardman — from Shields Road to U.S. Route 224.

Derico reported the numbers to The Vindicator on Feb. 13 after the program had ended for this season.

“No further removals will take place until next fall,” Derico said.

Derico said Jan. 29 that the final number of deer killed during the removal program likely would differ from earlier counts because of some “mistaken reports that ODNR staff and myself have been working to clarify.”

Derico said Feb. 13 he was working to produce a “final program summary” on the deer-reduction program, but he had not provided one as of Monday.

A civil suit filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court by four property owners living near MetroParks properties asking the court to find the deer reduction program illegal is still pending.

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