From the Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources & Environmental Control
-- The annual two-day managed deer hunt held in December in Brandywine Creek State Park drew 48 hunters who harvested 28 deer, sending about 630 pounds of venison to local food banks to feed Delawareans in need.
The hunt is jointly managed by the DNREC Divisions of Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Recreation. It was started in 1994 to keep the number of white-tailed deer on the 1,000-acre park at a manageable level and curb the serious habitat damage caused by an unchecked deer population foraging in the park. While the first year of the hunt was the most successful with 60 deer harvested, this year’s harvest was similar to the previous 10 year average of 27 deer.
Hunters are selected through a pre-season lottery and must hunt from assigned deer stands. While hunters are permitted to shoot more than one deer, they must first harvest an antlerless deer to help meet the goal of controlling the deer population. Each successful hunter can keep only one deer. All others are donated to the Sportsman Against Hunger Program, which provides venison to food banks throughout the state.
Of this year’s successfully harvested deer, 71 percent, or 20 deer, were antlerless and of these 70 percent, or 14 deer, were potentially breeding female deer which are the driving factor in deer population control. Hunter generosity resulted in 15 harvested deer donated to the Sportsmen Against Hunger Program.