Howard County's campaign to reduce the deer population in Columbia's Middle Patuxent Environmental Area removed 50 animals during the first three days of the hunt this week, natural resources specialist Philip C. Norman said yesterday.
The 28-day hunt will resume Monday and continue next month and in December until the county's goal of removing 125 animals from the herd is reached.
Norman said 24 deer were killed Monday, the first day of the hunt, and 13 each Tuesday and yesterday. If the goal is reached before the full 28 days scheduled, the hunt will end early, Norman said.
County officials say about 350 deer are in the area, far too many for the food available. The deer have stripped many of the lower plants, have become a danger to motorists and are a threat to farmers' crops and residential plants.