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09.02.15 Department of Recreation & Parks Announces Deer Management Program for 2015-2016

September 2, 2015

Media Contacts:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Phil Norman, Deer Project Manager, Department of Recreation & Parks, 410-313-1675

Department of Recreation & Parks Announces Deer Management Program for 2015-2016

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks has announced its fall/winter schedule for managing the deer population through bow and shotgun managed hunts and sharpshooting. The managed hunts and sharpshooting will be held in an effort to help maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population in our parks where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity.

Since the program began in 1998, there has been an observable improvement in habitat quality and vegetation abundance in many of the parks where managed hunting and sharpshooting has taken place. The managed hunt program gives specially screened and selected hunters daytime access to various parks. This year’s managed hunts will include a combination of bow and shotgun, and will take place from dawn until noon. Each park will be closed for all other uses during this time.

The sharpshooting program utilizes licensed and qualified marksmen and precise, accurate, noise-suppressed firearms in areas where the managed hunts are not feasible. Sharpshooting will take place from 3:30 p.m. to midnight, unless otherwise noted. All properties involved in the sharpshooting program will be closed to the public during this time. All the meat from this operation is donated to charitable organizations in the area.

The deer management schedule for 2015-2016 is as follows:

Alpha Ridge Park:
Bow & Shotgun - October 15; October 21; November 4; November 19

Alpha Ridge Landfill (dawn to 11:00 a.m.):
Sharpshooting - October 15; October 21; November 4; November 19

Belmont Park:
Sharpshooting - December 15; December 17; January 5

Blandair Park (north of Maryland Route 175 only):
Bow Hunting - September 24; October 1; October 8; October 29; November 12; February 18

Carrs Mill and Zirn Property:
Sharpshooting - September 8, March 15; March 17

Centennial Park:
Sharpshooting - January 12; March 1; March 3

Daniel’s Mill Overlook:
Sharpshooting - November 17 (5:00-9:00 a.m.); January 19

David Force Park:
Bow & Shotgun - October 20; January 7; February 4

Fulton South Park:
Sharpshooting - December 1; December 3; December 8; March 10

Governor’s Run Open Space:
Sharpshooting - November 24 (5:00-9:00 a.m.); January 19

Gray Rock Farms Open Space:
Sharpshooting - November 17 (5:00-9:00 a.m.); December 22; January 26

High Ridge Park:
Shotgun Hunting - October 22; January 28; February 11

Hollifield Farm:
Sharpshooting - November 24 (5:00-9:00 a.m.); January 19

Middle Patuxent Environmental Area:
Bow & Shotgun - October 14; October 28; November 11; November 18; January 14; January 21; February 9; February 25

Mount Hebron Open Space:
Sharpshooting - November 17 (5:00-9:00 a.m.); January 26

River’s Edge Open Space:
Sharpshooting - December 1; December 3; December 8; March 10

Robinson Nature Center:
Sharpshooting - December 1; March 8

Rockburn Branch Park:
Sharpshooting - December 15; December 17; January 5

Savage Park:
Sharpshooting - December 3; December 8; March 8; March 10

Schooley Mill Park:
Shotgun Hunting - November 5; February 16

Timbers at Troy Golf Course:
Sharpshooting - December 15; December 17; January 5

West Friendship Park:
Bow & Shotgun - October 27; November 10; February 2; February 23

Wincopin Trail Area of Savage Park:
Bow Hunting - September 29; October 6; October 13; December 10

Worthington Park:
Sharpshooting - December 22; January 12; March 1; March 3

Since deer population reduction programs (such as the hunts and sharpshooting) are not possible in many areas of the county, the Department of Recreation & Parks has developed a Deer Management Reference Manual to help homeowners and gardeners live in harmony with white-tailed deer. The manual, which is available in all county library branches, contains information on the use of deer repellents, fencing to protect crops and property, how to avoid deer-auto collisions, and Lyme Disease prevention. There is also information about the county’s deer management program available on the Department’s website at www.howardcountymd.gov/deermanagement.

The Department of Recreation & Parks and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service can also arrange to have experts on the topic speak to homeowner associations,
schools or other groups. Other Recreation & Parks’ deer management programs include an effort to reduce ticks on deer through the use of “Four-Poster” devices which delivers an approved pesticide to deer attracted to a feeder baited with corn. Developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the devices have been shown to reduce tick populations by 90% or more.

For more information on the deer management program, call the Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-313-1675.

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