Friday, January 15, 2010

MICHIGAN NEWS: Ella Sharp Park Cull Winding Down

The third annual deer harvest at Ella Sharp Park and the Cascades Golf Course is nearly over.

Eric Terrian, Ella Sharp Park superintendent, said sharpshooters with Aaron's Nuisance, a local animal control company, killed 16 deer Thursday, bringing the total to 67 since the harvest started Sunday.

"Last night was a good night," Terrian said. "Obviously because of the weather, the deer are on the move."

The goal is again 80 deer. If sharpshooters can take another 13 deer Friday, the harvest will be over. If not, it will not resume until 4 p.m. Monday to let people use the parks over the weekend, Terrian said.

An unknown person firing a rifle at the park Monday night slowed the harvest. Terrian said the shooter still has not been identified.

When the harvest is over, 240 deer will have been killed in two years. Terrian said there are still hundreds of deer in the parks and if not for the harvest there would be several hundred more.

"The harvest is helping," Terrian said.

Source: MLive

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: Deer Culled in Norristown Farm Park

Hunters killed 44 deer in Norristown Farm Park Wednesday during a controlled hunt to trim the herd.

Forty people were picked in a public lottery Dec. 5 at the park’s headquarters to participate, but fewer showed up, according to Montgomery County Communications Director John Corcoran.

“Forty hunters were selected and five standbys, but there were only 32 hunters (Wednesday),” he said.

Overpopulation of deer in the Farm Park has wreaked havoc on the ecosystem, totally denuding wooded tracts of vegetation up to five feet above the ground, making the hunt necessary, said Corcoran.

The hunters were armed with 12-gauge shotguns containing slug ammunition; no buckshot was allowed. Shotguns using slug loads have a limited range but more stopping power, thus reducing the chance of a wounded a deer fleeing the park and onto nearby roadways. Also, all participants were required to hunt from a tree stands equipped with safety harnesses.

The county’s Parks and Heritage Services seeks to bring the deer herd, which now numbers between 200 and 300, into balance with the one-square-mile park’s available resources. That still leaves much higher deer density than the nine to 20 deer per square mile level recommended by wildlife biologists.

“For us, it’s a land management issue,” Corcoran said.

The 44 deer culled from the herd included doe and buck, called “button buck,” too young to have grown antlers.

Hunters selected in the lottery were permitted to scout the prospective hunting area, and with park approval, choose a tree where they wanted set up their portable climber the day of the hunt. As well, hunters were prohibited from firing in the direction of roadways.

“They have regulations as to which direction you can shoot,” Corcoran said.

The Farm Park, which was be closed to the general public during the hunt, was closely monitored by law enforcement officials for safety and compliance.

Norristown Farm Park, located at the intersection of Germantown Pike and North Wales Road, is owned by the state and is operated by the Montgomery County Department of Parks and Heritage Services. The park is typically open for passive recreation seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. The park is also used for farming operations.

Each November, the county permits bow hunters to shoot deer in Lorimer Park near Abington.

Source: Times Herald

WEST VIRGINIA NEWS: 2009 Deer Harvest Down 5% Compared to 2008

The Division of Natural Resources says West Virginia hunters bagged fewer deer in 2009 then they did the year before.

According to figures released Thursday, hunters killed 154,524 deer during the state's multiple deer seasons. In 2008 hunters killed 163,603 deer.

Overall, hunters killed 63,590 deer during the 2009 buck season, 54,617 during the antlerless season, 27,558 during the bow season and 8,759 during muzzleloader season.

Source: Philly Burbs

WEST VIRGINIA NEWS: Recent CWD Cases in Hampshire County

Preliminary test results indicate the Chronic Wasting Disease agent was present in 16 hunter-harvested deer collected in Hampshire County during the 2009 deer firearms hunting season.

“As part of our agency’s ongoing CWD monitoring effort, samples were collected from 1,091 hunter-harvested deer brought to game checking stations in Hampshire County and one station near the southern Hampshire County line in Hardy County,” notes Frank Jezioro, Director for the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources.

The 16 CWD positive deer included one 4.5 year-old doe, one 2.5 year-old doe, one 1.5 year-old buck, ten 2.5 year-old bucks and three 3.5 year-old bucks. Thirteen of the latest positive deer were harvested within the Hampshire County CWD Containment Area (i.e., that portion of Hampshire County located North of U.S. Route 50). However, three were located outside the containment area but still within Hampshire County.

The area in Hampshire County from which CWD has been detected continues to expand, and the number of infected deer detected this year is 2.5 times more than last year.

CWD has now been detected in a total of 62 deer in Hampshire County (i.e., two road-killed deer, one in 2005 and one in 2008; four deer collected by the WVDNR in 2005; five deer collected by the WVDNR in 2006; one hunter-harvest deer taken during the 2006 deer season; three deer collected by the WVDNR in 2007; six hunter-harvested deer taken during the 2007 deer season; 11 deer collected by the WVDNR in 2008; six hunter-harvested deer taken during the 2008 deer season; eight deer collected by the WVDNR in 2009; and 16 hunter-harvested deer taken during the 2009 deer season).

“The WVDNR will continue to update management actions designed to control the spread of this disease, prevent further introduction of the disease, and possibly eliminate the disease from the state as information from deer testing within West Virginia is gathered and scientists across the country provide more information on how to combat CWD in white-tailed deer,” says Jezioro.

So far, the following disease management actions have been placed into operation by the WVDNR within Hampshire County:

- Implemented CWD testing efforts designed to determine the prevalence and distribution of the disease.

- Established antlerless deer hunting regulations designed to increase hunter opportunity to harvest female deer, adjust deer populations to desired levels and reduce the risk of spreading the disease from deer to deer.

- Established deer carcass transport restrictions designed to lower the risk of moving the disease to other locations.

- Established regulations designed to prohibit the feeding and baiting of deer within the affected area and reduce the risk of spreading the disease from deer to deer.

“Despite our agency’s best efforts, we continue to struggle with CWD in Hampshire County,” says Jezioro. “I am particularly concerned that some individuals are not complying with regulations prohibiting the feeding and baiting of deer within the Hampshire County CWD Containment Area.”

The WVDNR intends to renew its outreach efforts with the public on the critical need for compliance with this regulation. In addition, appropriate enforcement actions will be taken if these problems are not resolved.

“As we strive to meet this wildlife disease challenge and implement appropriate management strategies, the continued support and involvement of landowners and hunters will be essential,” says Jezioro. “The WVDNR remains committed to keeping the public informed and involved in these wildlife disease management actions as we go forward.”

Source: WHSV

TEXAS NEWS: Town Advised to Elimiate 400 Deer

HOLLY LAKE RANCH, TX (KLTV) - Residents of an East Texas community are torn, after being told the way to fix their deer problem is to kill 400 of the furry critters.

The over population problem has gardeners in the community upset, but animals lovers say that they enjoy seeing the deer.

Texas Parks and Wildlife was called in to advise the community on a solution, and suggested 400 deer needed to be put down in order to maintain a balance in the deer population.

Residents also received a letter saying those who continue to feed the deer will be fined $150.

A meeting will take place at 2pm today to discuss the issues and make a decision.

Source: KLTV

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NORTH CAROLINA NEWS: Chapel Hill City Council Considers Deer Hunt

The Chapel Hill town council agreed Monday night to take applications for an urban deer hunt as it studies the issue further.

Residents have submitted a petition asking the town to hire professional deer bow hunters to reduce the population of deer. Residents said the deer have become a nuisance.
The council called for a public hearing on the issue and asked for more input from experts and residents.

In the meantime, professional bow hunters can submit applications to hold an urban deer hunt with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. No action will be taken on the applications until after the public hearing.

Source: WRAL