Archery Deer Hunt Begins Today at Oak Mountain State Park
Contact: Jerry de Bin, 334-868-9667
A group of 80 experienced bow hunters will spend today and tomorrow in Oak Mountain State Park, participating in the ongoing regulated archery deer hunts to reduce overpopulation. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is taking usual precautions to ensure that the two-day hunt is conducted in a fair and safe manner. Hunters and alternates were chosen through a computer-generated random selection. In addition, applicants were required to pass an archery proficiency test.
The 10,000-acre park is closed to other activities while conservation officials oversee the wildlife management practice. Wildlife biologists are gathering scientific data from the animals harvested. In addition, hunters are required to collect observation data.
Conservation officials cite Oak Mountain State Park as a textbook example of what happens deer herds go unregulated. State wildlife biologists intervened three years ago after scientific data confirmed that the herd suffers from parasites and disease due to overpopulation. Conservation Commissioner, Barnett Lawley, supports the intervention. “We intervened because the deer population exceeded the land’s capacity to support their number. The overpopulation impacted other plants and animals in the park. The hunts are necessary because the consequences of doing nothing are totally unacceptable.”
Wildlife managers employ hunting as an effective population control tool. In addition to helping control deer populations, hunters contribute over $1.5 Billion annually to Alabama’s economy. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manages all game species such as deer and turkeys, as well as non-game species such as Bald Eagles and Eastern bluebirds. Wildlife management funding comes primarily through the sale of hunting licenses and from federal excise tax collected on hunting equipment.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more, visit www.outdooralabama.com.