Montgomery Parks this week announced it will go ahead with a deer hunt in a Chevy Chase section of Rock Creek Park starting on Feb. 1.

The 277-acre Rock Creek Stream Valley Park has seen damage to natural resources, deer-related car accidents and the increased potential of Lyme disease because of the increased amount of deer in the area, Montgomery Parks claimed in a press release on Monday.

Montgomery Parks says estimates indicate the deer population in the park, east of the Connecticut Avenue and East-West Highway intersection, is three times the recommended density.

The agency, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and planning Commission, went through a public commenting period last year, during which a vast majority of residents supported the deer hunting plan.

Park Police sharpshooters will kill deer in the park, “under very stringent guidelines and in the most humane way possible,” according to the press release.

The hunts will take place from Feb. 1 through March 1 from 5:30 p.m. until sunrise each day. They may happen annually from Jan. 1 to March 31 if necessary.

Information about the hunts will be posted on signs throughout the park and Montgomery Parks will donate deer meat for consumption at local soup kitchens.

Flickr photo by John Dylan O’Leary