Alabama State Parks reminds the public that bowhunters will be in Oak Mountain State Park near Birmingham on scheduled dates from Nov. 1, 2013, through Jan. 31, 2014. Hunt dates will be weekdays only with the exception of three weekends in January 2014. Those dates are Jan. 11-12, Jan. 18-19 and Jan. 25-26, 2014. Bowhunters have already been selected by the Bowhunters of Alabama (BHA) through a registration and interview process.
Oak Mountain State Park will remain open during the hunts. All established park rules and regulations will apply. The park will be divided into 11 zones with each zone accommodating four to five hunters. The hunts are a cooperative program designed by the Alabama State Parks Division, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and BHA in an effort to maximize hunter opportunity and simplify the deer management process within the park. Visit www.bowhuntersofalabama.com to learn more about BHA’s Urban Deer Control Program.
The Oak Mountain hunting format is modeled on other urban deer-control programs across the United States. Last year 60 deer were harvested during the hunts (45 does and 15 bucks). Weather permitting, harvest numbers are expected to go up during the 2013-2014 season due to expanded hunting dates.
Wildlife experts point to Oak Mountain State Park as a textbook case of how deer tend to multiply in numbers greater than their habitat can support unless controlled through regulated hunting. Past herd health checks and necropsy confirmed the presence of parasites and disease due to overpopulation. After consulting with state wildlife biologists and in consideration of scientific research data, regulated archery hunts were established in 2004 to control the Oak Mountain State Park herd.
The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Partners Pay the Way. To learn more about Alabama State Parks, visit www.alapark.com.
Logo courtesy Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources