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Field Notes

The annual special antlerless deer hunt was recently completed over the October 17th and 18th weekend at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Fifty-five hunters mustered out the first day and a dozen deer were harvested. Fifty-three hunters showed up on Saturday, and six more deer were taken. The final take of 18 probably is about average for this hunt, but the second day harvest may have been hindered by the cold, rainy conditions.

Most of the hunters had a good time and lots of bears were seen on the grounds. A couple of Department of Natural Resources personnel are usually on hand to check out and certify the outcome. They also look at parasites, general health and age of the harvested deer. This kind of information will help them in making future decisions about management of the herd.

The overall numbers of participating hunters at the NRAO seems to have declined some in recent years. That could be blamed on the abundance of special hunts held in cities and small municipalities and also the special “private property only” antlerless season scheduled for this past weekend, the 23rd through the 25th. Hunters having more options is a good thing, even if it is hard to keep track of all the different seasons.

Because of the declining participants, the hunt was opened up late to employees, allowing them to walk in and sign up on the day of the hunt.

It is a great time of year to be a hunter. Archery season is open for deer and bear. For gun hunters turkey season is back in until November 15th. Squirrel, grouse and raccoon season are also in.

On November 1st, rabbit season comes in for both cottontail and snowshoe hare. Also trapping season begins then.

And the annual buck season for deer begins on November 24th.

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