Increase in Deer Population Prompts Wildlife Management Program at Norristown Farm Park

deerImage by Lubos Houska

NORRISTOWN, PAMontgomery County Park, Trails, and Historic Sites recently announced it is conducting a deer cull at Norristown Farm Park. The cull being held through the end of March in coordination with state and federal agencies.

Cull events have occurred since 2005 in Norristown Farm Park as part of the park’s wildlife management program. Recently, park officials have witnessed an increase in the number of deer at the park due to culling activities being delayed through the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time a cull was held in the park was 2019.

Deer culls serve to reduce the park’s deer population and bring it into balance with the site’s available resources. Culls reduce crop damage, lessen deer collisions with cars, and decrease damage to the park’s vegetation. Closely managing the deer population also eases the spread of wildlife-borne illnesses such as Lyme’s Disease, EHD and Chronic Wasting Disease, while improving the health and the vigor of the remaining herd.

Park officials stated that due to the increase in the deer population, many of the park’s soybean fields sustained damage this past year significantly reducing the overall harvest. The park’s sunflower field, a favorite spot for photographers and birders, was decimated before the plants had a chance to grow and flower. Many of the newly planted native tree and shrub species which were intended to increase the site’s plant diversity have been lost despite efforts to protect them.

The cull will be conducted after hours in Norristown Farm Park using USDA sharpshooters. The operation will be closely monitored by officials from various agencies and since it is after hours, the park while closed to the public. The cull will be patrolled continuously to ensure public safety. There will be no impact on park visitors, neighboring residents, or nearby properties.

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All meat harvested as part of the cull will be processed and donated to area food banks.

Residents with questions are being directed to contact the Norristown Farm Park office at (610) 270-0215.

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