DES PERES, Mo. – Friday was the second day of deer management at Sugar Creek Park in Des Peres. City officials said the stretch of road in front of the park is where they see more deer collisions than anywhere else in the city.

“Every area can only ecologically carry so many deer,” said Douglas Harms, Des Peres city manager. “Our herd is bigger than the conservation commission believes is appropriate for the amount of land area.”

He said the deer population keeps growing in the area, causing safety concerns.

“Anybody who has done this, whether it’s Town and Country or Sunset Hills, go down the list; it’s always controversial,” Harms said. “There are people in the community who believe that you should do nothing, and people who believe strongly that we need to do something.”

He said deer have taken over 20 acres of Sugar Creek Park, and the Conservation Commission approved the removal of 50 deer.

“They are all trained professional sharpshooters. This is what they do. They go all over the country, both United States and Canada, doing exactly what they’re doing here,” Harms said.

He said the commission is strict with what the city must do with the deer when they’re removed. Thirty of them will go to Share the Harvest Food Pantry, a non-profit that helps feed more than 800 families every month.

“The Department of Conservation monitors that to make sure that it is done that way,” Harms said. “They have a biologist on that inspects the deer. They keep records, they make sure it goes where it is supposed to go, and we pay the cost of having it processed.”

The other 20 deer will go to the St. Louis Zoo.

“We were asked by the Zoo if they could have a number of animals from their endangered wolf program,” Harms said. “The Department of Conservation approved up to 20 deer going to that program.”

Sugar Creek Park will remain closed through Feb. 1.