Deer Herd Management
White-tailed deer are an important part of Macon County’s natural areas. Like many native species they are beautiful and have a place in the ecosystem. But in many of our high quality conservation areas their numbers are so high that habitats are becoming unbalanced.
Deer are large plant eaters and consume a great number of plants. As a result, their high numbers are reducing native plant and animal populations, including endangered species. Additionally, human activity eliminated natural predators of deer, such as mountain lions and wolves in the early days of the county’s settlement. There is little hope of returning those predators. In their absence, deer populations are able to grow unchecked.
To maintain a healthy balance between the deer population and other species, the Conservation District initiated a limited archery hunting program. Over harvesting is avoided by monitoring deer habitat and numbers.
Can’t we let nature take its course? The unfortunate reality is we may never be able to “let nature take its course.” The high reproductive capability of deer (each doe can have two fawns), lack of natural predators, and limited suitable habitat mean deer numbers can become unmanageable to a point of jeopardizing themselves and the communities they inhabit.
The Conservation District’s archery deer hunting program generally starts the end of October and runs through December. For more information about the Deer Herd Archery Program contact us at 217-423-7708.
2017 Deer Herd Management Program
Applications are now available for the 2017 Archery Deer Herd Management Program at the Macon County Conservation District. This is a limited bow hunting program to assist with management of the deer herd. For complete information on this program, download the 2017 Hunter Facts & Rules.
Download an application from the link below or pick up a copy at Rock Springs Nature Center (Monday to Wednesday 8am – 5pm, Thursday 8am – 8pm, Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, or Sunday 1pm – 5pm). Completed applications must be returned by Friday, September 8, 2017. Late applications will not be accepted. A lottery drawing of all applicants will be held at Rock Springs Nature Center on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 3pm to determine program participants. Hunters need not be present to be included in the drawing.
Areas included in the lottery drawing are Rock Springs, Sand Creek, Friends Creek, and Fort Daniel Conservation Areas. The program dates are October 20 through December 14, 2017, except for November 17-19, November 23, and November 30-December 3. Permits will be available for purchase after the lottery drawing. Each hunter is limited to four permits per year. Permit fees:
- Macon County residents: $20 for the first permit
- Out of county residents: $50 for the first permit
- Out of state residents: $90 for the first permit
- Fees for second, third, and fourth permits are $20 regardless of residency
Documents for Download:
For more information call Natural Resources Specialist, Ethan Snively at 217-423-6796.