A massive hunting effort is scheduled to take place in Anne Arundel County that will allow hunters to kill an “unlimited” number of antlerless deer in order to address deer overpopulation concerns.
Known as the “2012-2013 Managed Deer Hunt,” The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks (AADRP) are conducting the hunt in hopes of reducing the deer population within three designated areas. The hunts will occur at the Glendening Preserve, the Jug Bay Central Sanctuary combined with the River Farm Property in south county and the Beverly Triton Beach Park in Edgewater.
According to the managed hunt’s document of procedures, rules and regulations, officials see the hunt as the best way to decrease deer overpopulation in the area.
“Lethal removal is the only feasible means for deer population control at this time, since contraception is not approved, the introduction of large predators is impractical, and no action is unacceptable and/or impossible,” according to the release. “This is not a recreational program, but a management tool for use in areas where deer have exceeded the carrying capacity of the available habitat.”
With no specific goal or quota for the managed hunt, hunters are permitted to kill as many antlerless deer as they can, with an emphasis on “harvesting” does, according to the release. For every two antlerless deer that are killed by one individual, the hunter can then harvest one buck with at least two points on one antler. However, hunters may only kill two bucks throughout the managed hunt season, according to the release.
To ensure the safety of those participating, hunters must go through an application process, providing proper gun registration, certifications, licensing and other safety precautions. A certain level of fluorescent orange on hunter is also mandatory to participate in the hunt.
With 20 managed-hunting days from Oct. 1 to Jan. 25, hunters are invited to schedule their attendance at one of the designated areas and hunt antlerless deer from sunrise to about 11:30 a.m. A breakdown of the designated days and their locations is listed below:
Glendening Preserve/Jug Bay Central Sanctuary
- October: 1, 9, 17
- November: 5, 13, 30
- December: 5, 13, 21
- January (2013): 9, 17, 25
Beverly Triton Beach Park
- October: 11, 26
- November: 8, 16
- December: 3, 11
- January (2013): 15, 23
Hunters must pay a one-time $25 administrative fee and complete a hunter information form and background check authorization form in order to participate in the program.
To learn more or register for the hunt, read the event’s information page.
Patch was unable to contact officials at the AADRP to discuss the hunt's size in comparison to similar efforts in the past.