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Deer Culling To Resume Next Month In Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site


Deer culling operations will resume next month in Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site as officials continue to reduce the white-tailed deer population to prevent over-browsing of vegetation.

This will be the second fall that marksmen head out into the two units to kill deer. All venison will be donated to area food banks.

"Management of white-tailed deer at Gettysburg and Eisenhower parks has reduced the impacts of past deer damage to historic woodlots and farm fields. We must continue the management program to maintain this recovery," said Superintendent Bob Kirby.

An important purpose of the herd reduction is to support forest regeneration in historic woodlots that played a role in the fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg. The management program also provides for the long-term protection, conservation and restoration of native species and cultural landscapes.

"Long-term forest monitoring at Gettysburg and Eisenhower parks indicates that more seedlings and saplings are living to become trees than in the 1990's," said Zach Bolitho, the park's chief of resource management. "We're making progress in healthier landscapes here."

The deer management program will continue through the end of March. Annual deer reductions will continue from October through March each year, as necessary. A deer reduction community safety committee is consulted on matters of public safety related to the program. The committee is composed of the local Pennsylvania Game Commission officer, the chiefs of police from Gettysburg Borough and Cumberland Township, the chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission, and the park superintendent, chief ranger, and biologist.

In 1995, an Environmental Impact Statement described and considered a variety of options for meeting park objectives for deer management, including public hunting, relocation, and the use of sterilization and contraception. Hundreds of people participated in the public review of the EIS and many commented on it in writing. The NPS decided to reduce the number of deer in the parks through shooting.

The park conducts monitoring of the deer population and long-term forest monitoring to help assess the program and set deer management goals.


I was just stating what you've been saying all along.

But, if you will read my post carefully, it says there are some priceless places where compromise should be off limits. There will never be another Yellowstone, to name but one.

Some years ago, I was riding on NFS land adjacent to RMNP and some "hunter" almost shot my horse out from under me. He saw a brown butt and thought it was .... well, I'm not sure he thought anything! He missed, my horse (and I) spooked but all came out OK in the end.

I have friends and family who hunt. I enjoy the occasional gift of deer sausage or ground meat. I know that most hunters are much more careful than that. And yes, the BLM land was open for hunting although I'm not certain this was a joint-use area of riding and hunting both. Yes, I should have researched better and I learned from that!

Still, I don't understand why people advocate hunting in highly used national parks. A rifle bullet can go such a long way. Touristas wander off trail all the time. I don't think that having a balance between hunting-permitted lands and no-hunting lands, and making some of our highly trafficked parks no-hunting, is absolutist. Kurt's message said "parks such as..." That is not absolutist.

I see Lee - absolutism is OK if its your position, but anyone that desagrees must compromise.

Maybe, when it comes to preservation of some priceless places, some tough, strong, rigid absolutism is needed.

There are no more wild places being created. Wouldn't it be wise to hold very tightly to those that remain?

So if I'm going to be accused of absolutism -- then let's make it absolutely clear -- I absolutely am and that's absolutely not gonna change.

But that doesn't mean I won't sit down and listen to good arguments from the other side. (Note, though, that I said good arguments. That means sensible, carefully considered arguments.) But that doesn't mean I'll have to agree. Sometimes, the most important role some of us can play comes in trying to persuade others that they may not be right and then try to educate them in hopes they come to understand the error of their ways.

Now, let's all stand by for the big explosion.

Case by case basis, case by case.

Geesh - Thats what I have been saying from the beginnig and what HR 4089 calls for.

Case by case basis, case by case. And I don't have the time nor the inclination to go through that list at this time.

But really, by definition, since I can see where hunting could, and does, occur in the park system, that upholds my position that I'm not an absolutist on the matter.

Those are three out of nearly 400 units of the park system, five if you add Grand Canyon and Great Smoky. I wouldn't describe that as absolutist.

So your are for hunting, trapping and target shoot in the other 395 units?

Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, no.

Those are three out of nearly 400 units of the park system, five if you add Grand Canyon and Great Smoky. I wouldn't describe that as absolutist.

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