Jekyll Island OKs sharpshooters for thinning deer

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JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — The governing board for Georgia's Jekyll Island has approved using government sharpshooters to thin the deer population on the island state park.

The board voted unanimously Monday to move toward controlled killing of some of the white-tailed deer after three years of grappling with the issue. Surveys going back to 2011 have shown the park has far too many deer to support a healthy population.

Residents who oppose the plan say any deer killing would clash with the wildlife conservation mission of Jekyll Island, which has a sea turtle hospital and signs urging drivers to watch for terrapins crossing the road.

Officials estimate Jekyll Island would pay $10,000 to hire U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters to kill 80 deer. Details must be approved later.

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