Ladies and Gentlemen, hold onto your antlers! The U.S. Department of Agriculture is about to unleash their crack team of firearms experts into the Manassas National Battlefield Park for the highly anticipated annual deer management program. That's right, folks, the National Park Service has officially declared war on Bambi and his friends.
This year, six national parks in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia will be hosting controlled hunts, turning them into virtual deer slaughterhouses. The Manassas National Battlefield Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Antietam and Monocacy national battlefields, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will be the new battlegrounds for these poor, unsuspecting deer.
But don't worry, the National Park Service promises "extensive safety measures" to protect visitors and neighbors during the night-time operations, which will be conducted by biologists who are also "highly trained firearms experts." In other words, they'll be shooting blindly into the dark with live ammo, but it's all for the greater good.
Some park areas will be temporarily closed while the reduction operations are underway, so be sure to check the national parks' websites for up-to-date information and closures. And because waste is a sin, the National Park Service will also be donating all suitable meat from these hunts to local food banks, with last year's parks donating more than 7,000 pounds of venison.
This isn't the first rodeo for these controlled hunts. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is entering its third year of deer management operations, Manassas National Battlefield Park its fourth, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park its fifth, Antietam and Monocacy national battlefields its seventh, and Catoctin Mountain Park its 14th year.
So, dear deer, it's time to run for the hills, or better yet, flee the country. The USDA's elite force of trigger-happy marksmen is on the loose and hunting season is officially open!