Lake Metroparks’ controlled archery deer hunt at its River Road property in Madison Township will this year feature fewer stands and hunters in an effort to increase the number of animals the agency wants to see taken.
While that course of action may seem to be a contradiction, it’s really not, says Tom Adair, Lake Metroparks’ natural resources manager.
“We decreased to number of stand sites from 10 to eight because we’ve increased the area that each existing site will have; we believe this will make it safer and more comfortable for the selected hunters by supplying them a larger area,” Adair said, who noted that last year hunters shot 15 deer.
Last year assigned hunters had to stay within 20 yards of their supplied ladder stand and game feeder.
New this year is that each selected hunter can place either a ground blind, a ladder stand or climbing stand within 50 yards of the agency-supplied feeder/two-person ladder stand site.
“We’re hopeful that this change will better enable the selected hunters to shoot deer, which is our ultimate goal,” Adair said.
In all, Lake Metroparks has selected 72 hunters who will participate in nine two-week segments and gleaned from a field of 312 applicants. This compares to the 90 hunters who were selected for the same nine, two-week period last year in which 412 people applied, Adair said also.
The listing of those persons selected is slated to be posted Friday, Aug. 10, on Lake Metroparks web site: www.lakemetroparks.com, and then to the “wildlife management” link.
Removed were stands Number One and Number 7. The first stand was located at the eastern most portion of the 492-acre reserve. Meanwhile, stand Number 7 was situated about three-quarter of a mile west of the maintenance building complex.
“These stands were not very successful anyway, with only one deer being taken from stand Number 1 and no deer taken from stand Number 7,” Adair said. “Actually, stand Number 2 was the most successful with four deer having been taken there. This also is our handicap-accessible stand and might even be better because of the change.”
Other new rules include that hunters must shoot an antlerless deer before shooting a buck.
“We believe that based on the feedback from hunters that others were passing up on does, a change was warranted,” Adair said. “We’re hopeful that this change will reflect the need of reducing the deer numbers at River Road.”
The other significant change is allowing the selected hunter to choose a substitute to hunt in the selectee’s place.
That is, so long as the partner completes an application, pass the same proficiency test and attend one of the two required pre-hunt meetings, Adair said.
“There will be a sign-in sheet that everyone will be required to complete,” Adair said. “Our rangers will be patrolling to help ensure that hunters don’t abuse this privilege.”
The required pre-hunt meetings are set for 2 p.m., Sept. 16 for those assigned to groups 1 through 5, and 2 p.m., Nov. 11 for those hunters selected to participate in groups 6 through 9.
Also, this year the meetings will be held at the agency’s headquarters, Concord Woods Nature Park, 11211 Spear Road, Concord Township.
“After each meeting, participants will be allowed to access the River Road property so they can become familiar with their area,” Adair said.