Archery Deer Hunt Begins Today at Oak Mountain State Park

After weeks of application, selection, testing and preparation, 73 experienced bow hunters will spend today and tomorrow in Oak Mountain State Park, participating in the regulated archery deer hunt designed to relieve the overpopulation of deer in the park.

The hunters and alternates, chosen through a computer-generated random selection from a total of 693 applicants, represent 21 of Alabama’s 67 counties. Each selected hunter was required to take an archery test to ensure proficiency. If a hunter failed the archery proficiency test, then an alternate was elevated to hunter status.

The park is divided into two large hunting zones for the two-day hunt, and the chosen hunters must hunt in their assigned zone each day. During the check-out process each day, wildlife biologists will gather scientific data from the deer that are harvested. In addition, hunters will complete a form detailing the number and sex of deer observed during the day. If they wish, hunters may donate their deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program that provides ground venison to Alabama food banks.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is making every effort to ensure that the two-day hunt is conducted in a fair and safe manner, with every hope that the hunters are successful. It is an important step toward improvement of habitat at Oak Mountain State Park.

Earlier this year 85 deer were removed from Oak Mountain State Park through the regulated archery hunt in January and by U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services biologists in March. The October and December hunts are part of the overall plan to reduce the deer population within the carrying capacity of the park, and to enhance the habitat and natural beauty of Oak Mountain State Park.