Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

February 1991


Controlled hunts were used annually between 1976-90 on the Mary Flagler Cary Arboretum in southeastern New York to control deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population expansion and prevent over-browsing of forested and landscaped areas. The primary objective of the hunts was to remove sufficient numbers of adult female deer each year to stabilize herd growth and minimize browsing pressure. Hunters had to register early, attend a preseason meeting, pass a shooting proficiency test, apply for a deer management permit, and pay a fee. Spring browse-use surveys, using several tree species as an index to browsing pressure, showed low use through 7 winters. Participating hunters strongly supported the controlled hunts citing safety, good access, low hunter numbers, and a quality experience as the features they enjoyed.