PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama State Parks and Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries are partnering to create a special opportunity at Oak Mountain State Park.
A limited number of hunters will be selected by a random draw system as part of the urban deer management program to participate in a series of deer hunts at Oak Mountain State Park. Registration is now open for the program which begins in November. These bow hunting sessions will continue through early February.
Consultation with state wildlife biologists and consideration of scientific research data revealed the ongoing need to manage the Oak Mountain State Park herd. Overpopulation of deer causes negative consequences for wildflowers, trees, and shrubs in the park, which in turn depletes the food supply for small mammals and nesting birds.
Oak Mountain State Park serves as an example of how deer tend to multiply in numbers greater than the habitat can support, according to wildlife experts, unless controlled through regulated hunting.
“The only way to keep a deer herd healthy, especially in an urban environment, is to manage it,” said Tasha Simon, a Natural Resources Planner for the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. “Overpopulation can cause many adverse outcomes to the ecosystem, and Oak Mountain’s proximity to Alabama 119, Interstate 65 and nearby subdivisions makes it critical to manage the herd for human safety as well as the well-being of the herd itself.”
Hunters must apply online to participate in the hunts. Any permitted and licensed hunter 16 years or older, subject to and in accordance with established registration and eligibility requirements, can apply to participate hunts.
The dates for the hunts are Nov. 2-5, Nov. 9-12, Nov. 16-19, Nov. 23-26; Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Dec. 7-10, Dec. 14-17, Dec. 28-31; Jan. 4-7, Jan. 11-14, Jan. 21-24, Jan. 28-31, and Feb. 1-4.