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Sharpshooters' deer culling to resume in Mt. Lebanon

| Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, 1:39 p.m.
A deer pauses on the front lawn of the First Church of Christ, Scientist along Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon on Wednesday, March, 11, 2015.
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
A deer pauses on the front lawn of the First Church of Christ, Scientist along Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon on Wednesday, March, 11, 2015.

Sharpshooters could resume culling deer in Mt. Lebanon on Thursday evening, officials said.

From Feb. 1 through March 31, contractors from Connecticut-based White Buffalo Inc. are cleared to work on a mix of private land volunteered by homeowners and public property, luring deer with bait and then shooting them from above with sound-suppressed rifles in an effort to reduce the size of the community's deer herd. Last year, the sharpshooters killed 55 deer; in 2016 there were 115, according to reports released by the municipality.

Mt. Lebanon spokeswoman Susan Morgans said the $77,110 contract with White Buffalo allows sharpshooting to begin Thursday, but the actual start will depend on weather conditions.

Landowners work directly with White Buffalo to volunteer their land for hunting and evaluate its safety; the municipality has approved culling in McNeilly Park, Robb Hollow Park and the adjacent Public Works property, the municipal golf course and the conservation district property off Connor Road. Shooting can occur in the late afternoon and after dark.

After years of debate over the safety and necessity of a program, Mt. Lebanon has used a mix of archers and sharpshooters to cull deer since 2015, with the intent of reducing the number of deer-related car crashes.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, or via Twitter @msantoni.

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