A Washington County park will be closed Nov. 9-10 and Nov. 16-17 for a "controlled deer management harvest" to reduce the herd.

Only participants who have obtained a special lottery permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be allowed into Lake Elmo Park Reserve for the hunt, the county said. Participants will be required to attend a safety orientation course.

The deer herd in the park reserve and adjacent Sunfish Lake Park has grown to 120, based upon a 2013 aerial survey. Wildlife managers estimate that aerial surveys miss 30 percent of the deer population, which means there could be up to 156 in the park.

Deer damage trees and shrubs and pose a traffic hazard when they cross highways.

The DNR recommends that deer be limited to between 15 to 25 per square mile, meaning Lake Elmo Park Reserve and surrounding areas should have from 45 to 75.

Other Washington County parks will remain open. Call 651-430-8370 for details.

Kevin Giles