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BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Bald Head Island has finished a cull of the island’s deer population. It’s the first step in the village’s plan to launch a birth control program for the animals.

The cull, which ended this morning, killed a total 20 does and 10 antlerless bucks. The meat will be processed and donated to local food pantries.

The Village of Bald Head Island partnered with the Bald Head Island Conservancy and island residents to prepare for the possible launching of an immuno-contraception program for managing white tail deer on the island. The BHI Conservancy is helping organize and raise the roughly $60,000 in private donations needed for the first year of operations.

According to the analysis presented at a meeting with the BHI Conservancy and residents, first-year operations will focus on darting and immunizing a num­ber of does, which in turn will receive boosters in the second year. BHI says it is a labor-intensive process, which means some high costs. The analy­sis also showed that a smaller herd to begin with would improve the chances of success for the program, the village said. Thus, the BHI Conservancy asked the village to conduct a small cull of the herd this year, especially focused on reducing the number of does, but also maintaining the doe-to-buck ratio.

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