Reducing wildlife spawns?

Is there any way to drastically reduce the amount of animal spawns? I love this game, but after day 2 animals are everywhere, and aside from being a majorly annoying nuisance, it’s completely removed any “finding food” survival part of the game. I’d like to actually have to wander around looking for animals if I want to eat one, not get swarmed by 20 or 30 woodland critters every time I leave my hideaway in the morning.

How would I go about making a more empty, more desolate wilderness while still keeping hordes of zombies in the towns? I looked into monstergroups.json but most of the woodland critters had their freq set to 1 already. Would raising it help, or would it just try to replace the dozens of critters with dozens of zombears and giant spiders spawn instead?

I’m playing static spawns, classic zombies, if it makes a difference.