Erie Metroparks will host a random drawing to select participants for a special controlled deer hunt at Edison Woods Metropark.
The Metroparks said a high deer population has negatively impacted the vegetation of the nature preserve. Reducing the deer herd is a tool used to help protect those threatened plant communities.
Natural Resources Manager Tara Nagaich told newsnet5.com the controlled hunt has proven effective in past years. Nagaich mentioned the Edison Woods Metropark has a large trillium population that is damaged by deer. Since the hunt began four years ago, the Metroparks have seen a decline in the loss of trillium and instead, an increase in seeing the plant in the area.
Nagaich said the deer move in and out of the area and the Metroparks do a ground deer survey every year to get a rough estimate of the population. She estimated there are about 100 deer in the area within Edison Woods, and that is the goal for the hunt.
However, the goal may be ambitious. Though removing 100 deer from the Edison Woods Metropark is a goal, Nagaich said each year the controlled hunt removes about 20 deer during a half-day hunt.
"It's a small hunt. We don't get too close to the number we want," Nagaich said. "This year we did increase the number of zones so we will have one more group able to hunt each day."
EDISON WOODS METROPARK DEER HUNT ZONES
According to Nagaich, the Metroparks re-evaluate the zones, the size of the property and sections of Edison Woods to ensure easy access and safety for the individuals involved in the hunt. The additional zone that was added this year was a section of Edison Woods that was not designated and was accessible to hunters.
To combat the park's issue with the deer population, a lottery drawing will be held for adults only to participate in a deer gun hunt during a portion of the statewide deer gun season, held Nov. 28 through Dec. 2. According to Nagaich, though the statewide hunt is held Monday through Sunday, the Edison Woods Metropark hunt will be from Monday to Friday. The hunt will take place from a half-hour before sunrise to noon.
HOW TO ENTER THE LOTTERY
- Interested adult (18 and older) hunters may apply by mailing a piece of paper to:
ATTN: Tara Nagaich, Erie MetroParks 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron, 44839
with a $5 application fee of either cash or check (made out to Erie MetroParks).
- Applicants need to clearly print their name, address, phone number, birth date and whether you are mobility impaired on the letter with the words "Edison Woods Controlled Deer Hunt" labeled at the top.
- The letter must be postmarked by Oct. 7 and include a $5 application fee to qualify.
- Six permits will be issued per day and each hunter may bring one licensed partner.
- Chosen hunters will be notified by Oct. 17 and must schedule their times by Oct. 24 or the permit will be forfeited.
Nagaich said the lottery aspect was introduced due to a large hunting interest across the state and anyone in Ohio can participate.
"It opens up the chance to hunt in Edison Woods," she said. "It offers a fair opportunity for everyone."
No archery or hunting bows are allowed in the hunt, only guns, Nagaich said.
This is the fourth year and fifth controlled deer hunt for the Erie Metroparks.