They can do a lot of damage.
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Early next year, if all goes according to plan, six cops armed with high-powered rifles will take up positions inside Cabin John Regional Park and begin killing the sweetest looking of creatures: white-tailed deer.

The park sits seven miles northwest of the District, on the edges of Bethesda and Potomac — not exactly hot spots of hunting culture.

“They can’t get here fast enough,” said Ty Tydings, an area resident who ran over a deer last year, has had to slow down to avoid four more this year and is tired of seeing his shrubs get eaten. “Everyone is pretty sick of deer.”

Tydings’s views underscore a continuing shift in public mood as governments in the area — faced with alarming deer populations — have organized deer kills and opened up hunting closer to suburban neighborhoods. In many of these places, the debate often centers not on whether to shoot, but on how best to shoot.