Recently, Green Valley State Park held its 10th special deer hunt in the park. On Nov. 16 and 17, 25 hunters using muzzleloaders hunted within the park boundaries for antlerless deer.
The park was closed to the general public for a couple of days to allow for the special park hunt. The reason for the deer hunt is to try to keep the deer population stabilized in and around the park.
Each hunter received two antlerless tags for the hunt, redeemable only in the park during the time allotted. Nineteen deer were removed from the park during the hunt. Most of the deer were harvested Nov. 16. The weather Nov. 17 was scattered thunder showers, making it difficult for the hunters to stay in the field and stay dry.
At the conclusion of the hunt, 52 percent of the deer harvested were adult and fawn does and 48 percent were fawn and spike bucks. The statistics were a little different than past years. Typically, more than two-thirds of the harvest are female deer and one-third are button bucks. Also, the total harvest of 19 deer was only half of the 38 deer average that had held steady for the previous nine hunts.
“The statistics for the hunt were different this year, which may or may not be evidence of a big change in the population,” said Park Ranger Alan Carr. “The harvest was down this year. That could be a reflection of less deer, or the deer may have been less accessible due to standing corn near the park, or less opportunity for the hunters because the weather, or most likely a combination of these and other factors. But the main thing is we had another safe hunt making the 2013 Green Valley Park deer hunt a successful one.”
Park staff and wildlife biologists will continue to monitor the deer herd at the park, and then make recommendations and adjustments to the special deer hunts. The original goal was to reduce the herd, cut down on the number of car-deer accidents in the area and lessen the amount of crop depredation to neighboring landowners, while still offering deer in the park for the public to enjoy. There has been progress accomplishing those goals and special park deer hunts will be used to try to maintain a balance between private/public interest and public safety.
For more information, contact the park office at 641-782-5131.