Thirty-six hunters harvested 47 deer during the three weekend hunts at Griffy Lake (*47*) Preserve in November as a part of the annual hunt to scale back the white-tailed deer inhabitants within the space on Bloomington’s north aspect.
Hunters from Monroe and 6 surrounding counties — Brown, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Morgan and Owen — have been invited to take part within the three weekend hunts. Less than half of the 43 hunters given permission to hunt have been from Monroe County. It was the third consecutive 12 months for the deer hunts, with extra deer being killed this 12 months than in 2020 (40 deer) and 2019 (26 deer).
Last 12 months:40 deer killed in Griffy Lake hunts
The hunts have been coordinated by White Buffalo Inc., an organization out of Chester, Connecticut, that carried out a cull within the metropolis nature protect in December 2015 that killed 62 deer. The hunts have been begun to assist protect the ecosystem of native vegetation and timber the deer have been consuming, in a lot the identical manner as hunts are carried out at state parks to minimize the deer populations there.
“We have been wanting at vegetation’ peak information and progress in some experimental analysis plots for seven years now,” mentioned Steve Cotter, pure useful resource supervisor for town of Bloomington. “There does look like some slight enchancment within the peak of some vegetation.”
The hunts closed the character protect during a time when many individuals get pleasure from strolling alongside the trails to see the timber’ colourful fall foliage. Cotter mentioned officers are discussing if future hunts might be carried out on weekdays to open the character protect on weekends.
“We hate to shut the protect during the weekends,” he mentioned. “But that is when the hunters can be found. We do nonetheless plan to proceed looking to profit the vegetation.”
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Emphasis has been on the vegetation negatively affected by the massive variety of deer, Cotter mentioned, however different animal species even have been impacted. While some individuals nonetheless disagree with the hunts, Cotter defined they’re crucial for the reason that pure predators of white-tailed deer, corresponding to wolves and mountain lions, not roam the realm.
“We’re attempting to put issues again in stability for the good thing about the entire nature protect,” he mentioned. “It’s a excessive bar and security is the No. 1 precedence.
“We’re very grateful for all of the hunters who come out and assist restore stability to the protect.”
While hunters may have given their deer to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry fund, Cotter mentioned this 12 months all individuals stored their deer or gave them to individuals they knew.
Work reduces protect entry
The hunts could also be over, however entry to Griffy Lake (*47*) Preserve is presently diminished as a result of development of a brand new path that follows alongside Headley Road has closed Headley’s southbound lane. People nonetheless can entry the parking zone space of the protect from the south.
When leaving, guests should flip north out of the parking zone and comply with Headley Road, which turns into Hinkle Road, till the intersection with East Bethel Lane. People who flip left on Bethel Lane will then intersect with North Old Ind. 37, which can take them again into Bloomington.
Contact Carol Kugler at [email protected], 812-331-4359 or @ckugler on Twitter.