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Duke Forest opens for controlled deer hunt

Posted September 12, 2008
Updated September 15, 2008

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— Duke University's Duke Forest opened for hunting Monday in an effort to slow down the damage from a surging deer population.

Researchers estimate as many as 80 white-tail deer per square mile in parts of the forest, more than four times the recommended number.

"We've made the decision that we need to try to control the deer herd to some extent," said Judson Eideburn, resource manager for Duke Forest.

Eideburn and others say the deer are eating just about everything in their path and that affects, not only habitat for other animals, but the regeneration of the forest.

"The forest is essentially dying, because the deer are overrunning it," Duke researcher Jeff Pippen said.

Four of six sections of the 7,000-acre forest – Blackwood, Durham, Eno and Hillsboro – will be open Monday through Thursday until Dec. 30 to designated hunters from two local clubs.

No hunting will be allowed Friday through Sunday or on holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year's Day, and public hunting is not allowed.

Bow hunting will take place on the Durham Division, while bow and gun hunting will take place on the Blackwood, Eno and Hillsboro divisions, Duke said.

Signs will mark the hunting sections, and officials say that for safety reasons, the sections will be closed for recreation during those times.

Forest officials say its necessary, but understand some people are upset by the plan.

"This has taken years, on our part, and it's a difficult decision, because we know it affects a lot of people. But we've done it with a lot of thought, with a lot of input," Eideburn said.

48 Comments

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  • Hammerhead Sep 16, 2008

    ncguy, not all hunters are Bubba, but the ones who hunt on my property without my permission are.

  • mdaphoto Sep 16, 2008

    Hunting will begin September 15 and end December 30, Monday through Thursday. No hunting will be allowed Friday through Sunday or on holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

    Bow hunting will take place on the Durham Division, while bow and gun hunting will take place on the Blackwood, Eno and Hillsboro Divisions.

    The Durham, Blackwood, Eno and Hillsboro Divisions will be closed to public access on hunting days, Monday through Thursday. Signs are posted at the entrance gates. The Korstian and Dailey Divisions will remain open Monday through Sunday during the hunting period. The Al Buehler Cross Country Trail will be open as well.

    from the duke forest web site

  • ncguy Sep 16, 2008

    I Love it how all the people who are against hunting call us hunters Bubba.

    The Bubba's of this world donate more time and money to land conservation and animal sustainability then anyone else in the country.

  • nodoginthisfight Sep 15, 2008

    The hunting is BOW HUNT only, NO GUNS this way no homeowners have to be worried about stray bullets. Read the article PLEASE!!!!!

  • oldcmag Sep 15, 2008

    As I understand it they are only allowing bow hunters into Duke Forest !

  • unknown1234 Sep 15, 2008

    I would think everyone would be happy that Duke made this choice. I have had two crashes in the last 8 years with deer, and each have cost me thousands. i m sure you will always have people against hunting, regardless the circumstances. Maybe once they start nibbling on the shrubs at the capitol, they will extend the seasons??

  • Bob3425 Sep 15, 2008

    Southern Country you are absolutely right. For the concern homeowner that are worried about stray bullets, I would sugguest you talk with the landowner and see if they can get the hunting club to put their shooter in tree stands, this way the shooter are shoot at a down ward angle.
    While there are hunting accidents, I have to say most of my fellow NC hunter are very safe, taking a deer is not worth taking an unsafe shot.

  • GinkgoPhyta Sep 15, 2008

    Ugh...so I guess I can't run there during the week anymore. Duke forest said it is closed to the public during hunting.

    This makes me sad.

  • catwoman1 Sep 15, 2008

    I just hope they will make use of the meat, not just kill them for nothing. Deer chili is soooo good.

  • durhamguy Sep 15, 2008

    What I haven't seen in this story or in the comments, is that the state worked to improve the deer population years ago. Another state project sucess story.

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