MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  Only hunters are allowed into Lake Maria State Park in Monticello over the next two days.

It’s all part of a special deer hunt to prevent over-population and to protect the park’s natural resources.

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, Natural Resource Program coordinator for Minnesota State Parks and Trails.

The Department of Natural Resources has hosted several state park hunts this fall. A handful are still scheduled between now and the end of the year.

So far, hunters have killed a little more than 148-thousand deer across the state.

The park is closed to visitors until Thursday.

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