The 2017 hunting season in Sewanee begins Sept. 23 and runs discontinuously until Jan. 12, 2018. Hunters approved by the University may take part in this hunt. This year marks the 15th year of organized hunting on the domain after a resolution passed by the University Trustees in 2001 requested that the deer herd be controlled.
Since that beginning, the program has continually evolved in response to herd populations, community input, and ever-expanding datasets on the impacts of the herd on the ecological and human community.
The current hunt is organized around the 2016 White tailed deer management plan, http://www.sewanee.edu/media/offices/domain-manage...
. This document outlines both the population and habitat goals, and the steps involved to reach those goals. In general, our goal is to bring the population down to the population the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency feels is sustainable (approximately 25-30 deer per square mile) in a way that maximizes safety, minimizes impacts to the non-hunting members of our community, and maximizes student-led monitoring of the ecological and social impacts.
This year there are significant changes to some of the hunting areas around Brakefield Road and a newly formatted community map to ensure that hunting areas are easier to locate. The changes are intended to: 1) focus hunting in areas where census data shows unsustainable populations; 2) pause hunting in areas where population targets have been met; and 3) provide non-hunted recreation areas when possible.
The area north of the water tower on Brakefield Road, including the water tower trail, KA Point and all firelanes around the equestrian center, are closed to hunting this year. This area has seen significant hunting pressure over the last 10 years and census data indicates the population is at a healthy level. Hunting continues this year on the south side of Brakefield Road from just past Wiggins Creek subdivision to Gate 11, and on the north side of the road from Gate 3 to beyond Gate 7. These areas are expanded from last year’s hunt to reduce browse pressure on the forest understory. The hours of hunting will remain unchanged from last year and as always, all trails and firelanes remain open to recreational use during the season.
As in previous years, there may be a surplus of animals available for local families. If you are interested in picking up a field dressed deer for processing, please email email@example.com. For more information on the University hunting program and specific rules and times, please visit http://www.sewanee.edu/offices/oess/the-domain/eco...