the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis is an example of culling.
A cross-country ski trail was nearby. But rain had fallen all day and washed away
any hopes skiers might have had of kicking and gliding atop the icy paths.
This was Tuesday night, and the Twin Cities park in which I was hiding was closed.
Peering through a night-vision scope, I shouldered a 12-gauge shotgun with a 7-foot-long
In the scope, amid the darkness, I saw a pile of corn about 20 paces distant. The
corn was bait I hoped would lure deer close enough to shoot.
A swirling, bone-chilling wind wound through the thick stand of trees surrounding
If a deer did appear, I would target him — or her — just behind a shoulder, hoping
to drop the animal in its tracks.
No one would be the wiser. Not neighbors nearby. Not interloping park visitors, if
there were any.
When triggered, the gun I used was virtually silent.
• • •
Welcome to Twin Cities deer culling, circa 2009.
Little known to Minneapolis and St. Paul residents, and those of surrounding suburbs,
when the sun goes down, the guns in many communities come out.
Not all belong to gangs. Or police.
Some are wielded by sharpshooters employed by cities, park districts and various regulatory
authorities, such as the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
Professional contract deer killers also are sometimes hired.
The intent is to reduce the metro’s overpopulation of whitetails.