Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

AL: Oak Mountain Deer Management Program Expands in 2011-12

In an effort to expand the opportunity for bowhunters to harvest
more deer within Oak Mountain State Park near Birmingham, hunt
dates will be scheduled November 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012.
Hunt dates will be weekday only with the exception of the weekend
of January 28-29, 2012. The program was designed by the Alabama
State Parks Division, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Division (Wildlife Section) and Bowhunters of Alabama (BHA) in an
effort to maximize hunter opportunity and streamline the deer
management process.

Oak Mountain State Park will remain open during the hunting time
period. All established rules and regulations will apply. The park
will be divided into 11 zones with each zone accommodating 4-5
hunters on a first-come, first-serve basis. No more than 55 hunters
will be chosen by BHA through a registration and interview process
for the 2011-12 season. Visit, to learn
more about registration for this program.

The Oak Mountain hunting format is modeled on other urban deer
control programs across the United States and has proven beneficial
in total number of deer harvested during the 2010-11 season. Last
year 59 Deer total were harvested during the hunts (42 does and 17
Bucks). The hunts have averaged a total of 28 deer harvested per
hunting period since the hunts began six years ago. Harvest numbers
are expected to go up during the 2011-12 season due to the expanded
time frame, weather permitting.

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.
Scientific data provided by 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 research data, regulated archery hunts were
established in order to control the Oak Mountain State Park

Surveys conducted in 1999, 2000 and 2003 found serious vegetative
impact on developing wildflower growth, trees and shrubs as a
result of deer browsing. In turn, populations of small mammals and
nesting birds were negatively effected. Additionally, disease,
parasites and malnutrition can result when deer numbers exceed the
vegetative carrying capacity of the land. Future research will be
conducted as funds allow in an effort to highlight improvements
within the park and the whitetail deer population.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s
natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine
Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater
Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit


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