"A Sand County Almanac"

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Proposed Whitetail Deer Management Plan for the Monocacy National Battlefield



The public meeting held on August 28, 2013 to review and provide input to the proposed Whitetail Deer Management Plan was very lightly attended.  I would estimate that less than twenty individuals were present to read the proposal, ask questions and hear from the biologists and park managers.
Here are the key points that I took away from the proposal presented at the meeting:
·          The number of deer on the battlefield would be reduced from 497 to 41 over a five year period.  160 deer  would be removed by sharpshooting over an additional 10 years.

·         The cost for killing the deer would be $200 each for years 1-5.  Continued removal of deer from the battlefield in years 6-15 would cost $400 per deer.

·         Cost for sharpshooters is $195,800.

·         Total cost of the proposed deer management plan will be $391,118.

·         There is no provision to target female deer, versus antlered bucks, during the implementation of the proposal.

The numbers are confusing and can seem contradictory.  I strongly recommend that you review the full proposal here: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsOpenForReview.cfm?parkID=173&projectID=35457  The plan/EIS will be available for public review and comment until September 27, 2013.  During this period, the public is invited to identify any issues or concerns you might have with the proposed plan. 
I encourage each reader to go to the web site linked above to read the plan and leave your comments, questions or observations.  If  you do not think this plan will have an enormous impact on the battlefield I would encourage you to visit Catoctin Mountain Park in northern Frederick County where deer sightings have become rare due to a similar plan implemented there.

6 comments:

  1. I somewhat disagree with your photo above that states that it takes a buck five years to grow antlers like that. Bucks shed their antlers each year. While the statement was partially correct, it would require a buck of about five years in age to grow big antlers, he would grow them in one summer and then they would fall off in spring.

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  2. Gary, you are absolutely correct about the antler growth cycle of the deer. Each year the antlers are usually larger than the year, before until the deer reaches the age of seven or thereabouts when they begin to decline. To reach their maximum growth takes a deer at least five years. I hope this clarifies what I meant by the caption of the photo.
    Steve

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  3. je découvre ton blog et ces photos sont incroyablement belles! je reviendrai te rendre visite!
    Bonne journée, Cath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cath.
      Please stop back again.
      Steve

      Delete
  4. Hi! Cant understand why reduce so much.
    We have to shoot some moose here in Sweden for example. But its very strict rules.
    We are allowed to shoot only 5 female and 5 bulls over 6 tags. We dont have that big bulls so it will be difficult. Calves we can shot all if we want to. And the area is 9 000 hectare
    The deers you have are only in small populations in Sweden and not everywhere and mostly fenced.
    Have a nice weekend!
    Majsan/

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    Replies
    1. Lindsjö,
      It is hard to understand sometimes why the government does what it does. I am especially opposed to shooting the older bucks which are not often seen by most people. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.
      Steve

      Delete

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