Archery deer management hunt at the Arboretum
The active management of the Arboretum’s deer herd is a response to a very high population both locally and throughout the region. Deer browse on trees, shrubs, and flowers, and damage the natural plant communities we are working to maintain and enhance in the Arboretum. High populations of deer have also been linked to increased risk of contracting Lyme disease.
The archery hunt both reduces the local population of deer and helps discourage deer from entering the Arboretum from the surrounding area to establish winter yarding (concentrated groups) areas. To gain an understanding of nationwide impacts of deer and community responses to these high populations, see this article on deer management solutions.
Archery hunting of white-tailed deer is currently allowed in portions of the Lower Arboretum from Thanksgiving day until the end of the calendar year. Archers must apply to the Arboretum staff for written permission to participate in the hunt. The hunt is closely monitored to ensure safety of visitors and careful use of the Arboretum. Approximately 400 acres is open to the hunt. See a map of the area open to the archery program.
Please note that preference is given to successful hunters from prior years and that 40 or fewer hunters are permitted each year. In order for our program to successfully reduce the local population of deer, the Arboretum requires that each hunter must first harvest an antler-less deer from the Arboretum prior to harvesting an antlered deer. Antler-less deer “credit” may be carried over from previous years.
In order to spread out the hunter pressure, and allow more hunters the opportunity to participate, three types of permits are issued:
- Every day during the hunt period (Thanksgiving Day-December 31)
- Every day starting the Monday after Thanksgiving (includes weekends after the Thanksgiving holiday)
- Weekdays only starting the Monday after Thanksgiving.
The archery hunt application will be open September 1 – October 2, 2021. Accepted hunters will be notified as soon as possible after the application period closes, but not likely before October 15. All hunters accepted to the archery hunt are expected to attend a pre-season meeting, to be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Depending on COVID circumstances this meeting may be by Zoom or out of doors.
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