Conservation

Bow Hunting

Great Parks’ mission is to preserve and protect natural resources. One threat to the local species and their habitats is the overpopulation of deer. For the past 20 years, we have studied how white-tailed deer impact the parks, and in response to large increases in deer and the severe ecological damage that occurred, we began a Deer Management Program in January of 2003. This management includes continued monitoring of the population, vegetation surveys, culling and a lottery bow hunt, which began in 2005. Since implementing this plan, several years of data have shown more growth and flowering of native plants, as well as a less-visible browse line (Klein & Conover 2010). This plan also benefits the health of deer populations by reducing their competition for food and their risk of transmitting diseases, such as chronic wasting disease. Learn more about participating in the lottery bow hunt and helping our conservation efforts below.


Become a Bow Hunter

Applications for the 2021–2022 season have closed. Qualifications are scheduled to occur on August 7 and 8.

Applicants will only have to attend one day of qualifications. Applicants are entered into a lottery that will choose the date and time you must qualify. Previous hunters in the program who have been successful are given priority in the lottery. Applicants will soon be notified of their qualification day and time at the email address provided in the application.

When you arrive to qualify at your scheduled date and time, you must first show proof of completing a hunter education course. You must have your hunter ID to sign in. No exceptions. You can contact 1-800-WILDLIFE about taking the course beforehand. After signing in, you will have to place four out of five arrows within a 10-inch circle at 20 yards. Those who pass qualifications will be able to choose their hunting area and hunting session from the remaining available sites and dates. An overview of program rules and safety will be provided to those who qualify before hunting can begin, per program rules.

Please familiarize yourself with the information on this page and the program rules.

Any changes or updates will be posted to this webpage. If you have questions, you can contact us by email.

Resources for hunters:Program Rules
Program Welcome

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