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The Quabbin controlled deer hunt 1991 - 2001: limitations of a controlled huntAuthor(s): Beth E. Cohen; David K. Loomis
Source: In: Schuster, Rudy, comp., ed. Proceedings of the 2002 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-302. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 257-263
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (553.06 KB)
DescriptionThe Quabbin Reservoir, built in the 1930's as a water supply for Boston, is an unfiltered source of water. The agency responsible for managing the reservoir wants it to remain unfiltered. As a result, human activity is kept to a minimum, including (until recently) a prohibition on hunting. The lack of natural predators and the ban on recreational hunting allowed the deer population to explode, which resulted in the forest being overbrowsed. Overbrowsing leads to sparse forest cover and soil erosion, thereby jeopardizing the quality of the water. Managers had to develop a politically acceptable solution to the deer overpopulation problem. After much debate, a controlled deer hunt was implemented. The controlled hunt had certain criteria including hunting in a group of two to six, hunting in assigned zones and hunting on specified days. Initial hunter interest was very high and in 1991, 7444 hunters applied for the 1020 slots. Over the past ten years the number of applicants has decreased to 993 applicants for 1055 slots in 2001. The declining trend in applicants is becoming a concern to managers as they strive to maintain the deer population at its current level so as to maintain an unfiltered water supply.
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CitationCohen, Beth E.; Loomis, David K. 2003. The Quabbin controlled deer hunt 1991 - 2001: limitations of a controlled hunt. In: Schuster, Rudy, comp., ed. Proceedings of the 2002 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-302. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 257-263
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