- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The superintendent of Monocacy National Battlefield says federal sharpshooters have begun killing white-tailed deer to curb damage to forests and plants at the Civil War site near Frederick.

Chris Stubbs said Friday that the operation began Dec. 12, during hours when the park is closed.

The shooting is allowed under a state permit, which The Associated Press obtained through a Public Information Act request. The permit authorizes sharpshooters from the Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services unit to kill 278 deer through March 31.

The park service says the meat will be donated to food banks.

The agency announced in October it will eliminate hundreds of deer at the Monocacy (mah-NAH-kah-see) and Antietam battlefields in a multi-year program.

The state Department of Natural Resources hasn’t yet issued a permit for Antietam.

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