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Sharpshooters from Aaron’s Nuisance Animal Control will cull deer in and around Ella Sharp Park this weekend, Feb. 5-7, in hopes of clearing the area of deer that pose safety hazards to motorists.

In its ninth year, animal control officers have culled the deer population around Ella Sharp Park. This year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources allowed the city to cull 45 deer, down 15 from last year and the year before.

“The practice does seem to work,” said Will Forgrave, public information officer for the city of Jackson. “Every year we’re allowed to harvest fewer and fewer deer, so it speaks to how well the practice is working. Ours is a model for other communities.”

As in year’s past, the Jackson-based meat processing business Beef Barn will process the venison and Immanuel Lutheran Church volunteers will distribute the processed meat to needy families through their food pantry.

More than 30,000 pounds of venison have been distributed since the first cull.

Portions of road and trail around Ella Sharp Park and the golf course will close during the cull Friday afternoon through Sunday. The main road from the park’s entrance to the Ella Sharp Museum will remain open for art patrons.

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