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National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:08:10
by Taggure
National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan for three Washington Area Civil War Battlefields

Date: August 1, 2014
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177

National Park Service News Release

For Immediate Release: August 1, 2014

National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan for three Washington Area Civil War Battlefields

Washington- Today the National Park Service (NPS) released the final version of its plan to manage white-tailed deer populations at Antietam and Monocacy national battlefield (Md.) and Manassas National Battlefield Park (Va.). The plan is now open for public review until September 3, 2014.


Here is the rest of the story
http://www.nps.gov/mono/parknews/nps-deer-management-plan.htm

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:11:54
by Taggure
I would like to see them cul these herds and have all the meat donated to the Hunters for the Hungry myself.

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:10:09
by dmharvey
As a hunter who harvests deer about 1/8 mile north of Manassas National Battlefield Park it really bothers me that the NPS is considering the use of "chemical contraceptives" to control the local deer population. These deer do not belong to the NPS and they sure as hell are not exclusive to Manassas National Battlefield Park. Like many other hunters in my area, the deer I harvest are used to feed my family and I do not want them being pumped full of chemicals, period.

I've already sent a letter to the NPS voicing my opinion on this issue and I intend to monitor the situation closely. If it looks like they intend to introduce ANY chemical into the local deer population I'm going to seriously consider legal actions to try and prevent this. I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on this...

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 07:58:52
by Taggure
I agree with you and I think that they ought to have a lottery to be allowed to hunt the battlefield and control them the right way. They could slim the herd and do a lot of good in the process by opening the area up to hunters and not damage the future population.

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:19:12
by dmharvey
Here is an email I received from the NPS today, with my inital email and my reply:

====================================================

My initial email on 17AUG14:

I understand the National Park Service is considering the use of "reproductive control methods" to manage deer populations on Manassas National Battlefield Park, to include the use of "chemical contraceptives". Let me begin by making one point very clear, the NPS does not own the deer present on Manassas National Battlefield Park. These deer belong to the citizens of Virginia, to include those citizens who harvest them as a source of food. I am one of those citizens, I hunt on private land just north of Manassas National Battlefield Park, and my fellow hunters and I will absolutely raise hell if the NPS introduces any sort of chemical into the local deer population...ever. As I stated earlier, these deer do not belong to the NPS or anybody else at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Myself and countless other local sportsmen will be watching this situation closely. Thank you for your time.

====================================================

NPS response on 18AUG14:

For clarification, the NPS preferred alternative of the Environmental Impact Statement currently open for comment allows for non-lethal population control methods to be used for population maintenance only once the herd size is at a sustainable level, which we believe is 15-20 deer per square mile. Initial reduction actions would be performed by federal sharpshooters. Any contraceptive considered would need to meet all of the following criteria: 1) is a federally approved fertility control agent for application in free-ranging populations 2) the agent provides multiple year efficacy 3) the agent can be administered through remote injection 4) the agent would leave no hormonal residue in the meat (i.e., meat derived from treated animals should be safe for human consumption according to applicable regulatory agencies, and safe for consumption of other animals 5) overall there is substantial proof of success with limited behavioral impacts in free-ranging populations.

There is nothing available today or in development today that meets these criteria.

Thank you for your interest in the EIS and National Park Service.

====================================================

My reply on 19AUG14:

Thank you for the reply and I will be sure to submit my feedback via the link you provided.

Having hunted deer in the Manassas Battlefield for several years now I'm well aware of the over-population which exists on the battlefield, and throughout Fairfax County. This is indeed a serious threat and I am surprised that significant outbreaks of BVTB, EHD, CWD, etc have not yet occurred in the area. While I stand with the NPS when it comes to recognizing steps must be taken to help maintain safe/healthy deer populations I disagree with the approaches currently being planned and considered. Regardless, I firmly disagree with the introduction of any chemicals into my community's wildlife populations, even if those actions come with promises that the chemicals used are harmless, and I know a LOT of local residents who share this view.

Rather than spending large amounts of funding to have "federal sharpshooters' come in and shoot these deer why doesn't the NPS generate some additional income by providing local hunters with the opportunity to harvest these deer? Fairfax County has established a program which does this and I understand it has been very successful to date. I understand the NPS does not want to get attacked by emotional thinkers who object to hunting as a wildlife management tool but the NPS also has an obligation to spend allocated funds responsibly. These comments will be posted via the link you provided too but I just wanted to share them with you as well.

Thanks you for your time, and thank you for your very worthwhile work with the NPS. Have a great day!

====================================================

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:41:14
by Taggure
I think that you hit the nail on the head with your response.

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:09:02
by Jamie
I live just south of the Battlefield, and support your statements entirely. Please let me know what I can do to help that does not involve writing a check to anyone.

And it's ridiculous that they're going to pay money to hire "sharpshooters" instead of opening it for hunting. These bureaucrats really do believe that we're a bunch of idiot gun-nuts who will shoot randomly into houses and historic sites, don't they?

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:19:48
by dmharvey
I will be sure to post updates if I hear anything new, and please do the same. Maybe the NPS will host another meeting where the public can comment. If so, I'd be willing to attend and urge the NPS to use "common sense deer management" practices to help reduce the local deer population...and I'm sure you all know how trendy it is to toss around the term "common sense" these days. :roll:

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:16:36
by Mindflayer
Back when my folks lived on Yorktown Battlefield, they would just open the land to hunters to help cull the population.

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:53:01
by Viper21
Why not just have a kill permit like the farmers do..? When farmers are having crops destroyed, they simply call dgif, show evidence & a kill permit is issued for xx amount of deer. Everybody wins.

Wouldn't be tough to have a few motivated hunters apply with the park to be on the list, & handle the situation. No cost to the park, no chemicals introduced to herd, lots of backstraps to go around, everyone wins.

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:57:20
by Taggure
Yeap I agree, and that is what they should do here in this situation as well just open the area up for 5 hunting seasons and you will see a differance in the deer population. Heck make it Doe's only if they want. Managing an area for the correct ratio between bucks and doe's is important and since the deer have no natural predators in the battelfield area they just keep on breeding. Cul out the doe's and the fawns will be fewer and before you know it the population is controlled.

Where I hunt we all take doe's each year over Bucks on probably a 3 or 4 -1 ratio. Then again if it is 6 point or below we let the bucks walk. We have seen great results in the herd and there have been a couple of wall mounters taken out each year.

Re: National Park Service Releases Final Deer Management Plan fo

PostPosted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:33:33
by dmharvey
Here is a link to Fairfax County's deer management program -
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/ani ... gement.htm

The NPS could easily incorporate a similar approach during winter months (low visitior period) by closing off portions of Manassas Battlefield Park to the public for 3-day hunts and rotate hunting around the property over a 2-3 month period. Hell, they could shut the entire park down to make a political statement duirng the last government shutdown so why can't they do the same in an attempt to be responsible members of the local community?

The biggest challenge to this happening is groups of anti-hunters who organize and object to these types of approaches. Those who support a hunting-base approach need to organize and counter their arguments...which shouldn't be hard since all of the associated facts and statistics are on our side. I see this situation as an opportunity to put anti-hunters in their place, in a respectful and professional manner of course.