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SHARPSHOOTER KILLS 90 DEER IN NEIGHBORHOOD

SHARE SHARPSHOOTER KILLS 90 DEER IN NEIGHBORHOOD

A state-hired sharpshooter equipped with a silencer and night-vision sight killed 90 deer, three-fourths of a herd that was eating its way through a largely residential island.

The animals were killed during the night over three days, beginning Friday, said Richard Patten, chairman of the Long Island Deer Task Force."Ninety rounds were fired; 90 animals dropped," Patten said Monday. "It was as humane a thing as you could do. It was one shot and literally the animal dropped in its tracks."

The animals were attracted by corn and apples set out as bait.

The deer were butchered, and thousands of pounds of venison went to the New Hampshire Food Bank, which will distribute it to shelters.

The deer population on Long Island, in the town of Moultonboro on Lake Winnipesaukee in east-central New Hampshire, had grown from 49 to an estimated 120 since the state outlawed hunting on the 2-square-mile island in 1970.

State biologists said the deer on the island had eaten all available brush and were starving. The island's roughly 1,000 residents had been forced to fence their gardens and trees.

Many residents opposed hiring the sharpshooter and had been feeding the deer to prepare them for winter.