Oak Mountain deer hunts scheduled for 2013-14Published 4:23pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013
FROM STAFF REPORTS
In an effort to expand the opportunity for bowhunters to harvest more deer within Oak Mountain State Park near Birmingham, hunt dates will be scheduled by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources from November 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014, according to an ADCNR press release.
Hunt dates will be weekdays only with the exception of the three weekends in January 2014. Those dates will be Jan. 11-12, Jan. 18-19 and Jan. 25-26, 2014.
The program was designed by the Alabama State Parks Division, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) and Bowhunters of Alabama (BHA) in an effort to maximize hunter opportunity and simplify the deer management process within the park.
According to the ADCNR press release, Oak Mountain State Park will remain open during the hunts. All established park rules and regulations will apply. The park will be divided into 11 zones with each zone accommodating four to five hunters on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Wildlife experts point to Oak Mountain State Park as a textbook case of how deer tend to multiply in numbers greater than their habitat can support unless controlled through regulated hunting. Past herd health checks and necropsy confirmed the presence of parasites and disease due to overpopulation. After consulting with state wildlife biologists and in consideration of scientific research data, regulated archery hunts were established in 2004 to control the Oak Mountain State Park herd.
According to the release, The Oak Mountain hunting format is modeled on other urban deer control programs across the United States and was beneficial in total number of deer harvested from the park during the 2012-2013 season. Last year 60 deer were harvested during the hunts (45 does and 15 bucks). Weather permitting, harvest numbers are expected to go up during the 2013-2014 season.
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 Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit Outdooralabama.com.