KC-area park culls deer, donates meat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Shooting 313 deer in Shawnee Mission Park cost the Johnson County Park and Recreation District about $54,000 or $172 per deer, according to park officials.

The biggest expense was just learning how to do it. White Buffalo Inc., a national wildlife management firm, charged the district $28,452 to train an area volunteer policeman to shoot the deer.

The second biggest expense was processing the meat for $19,900.

Harvesters Community Food Network received 11,359 pounds of ground venison. They are currently distributing this meat to programs that feed low-income families in the Kansas City area. So far, 59 agencies have asked for the meat.

An additional 500 pounds was given to the Johnson County Human Services Department for its food pantries.

Park officials wanted to reduce the current deer herd from almost 200 per square mile to 50. However, shooting 313 deer reduced the herd to an estimated 73 per square mile and bow hunters have been called in to finish the job.

No other expenses are anticipated as the process enters the bow hunting phase. The bow hunters will be allowed to keep the deer they kill.