Hunt Goes on in Tennessee Park Despite Controversy
Enterprise South Nature Park in Tennessee is open to archery hunters twice in October. The deer population needs management, so the park is opened to archers and other recreationists are turned away. As happened to bike rider Robert Greene, he showed up to use the trails at the park, but was told by a park ranger that a hunt was being conducted. Greene is supportive of the hunt, just wishes he knew in advance so he didn't drive all the way out there for nothing.
50 people showed up around 5 am when the park opened. These 50 were here for the hunting. What once was a TNT factory is now a nature park, and a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency quota hunt opens the park to 80 hunting permit holders. The hunters are allowed two deer, but the first one must be a doe to help with the population management.
Brayton Bird, 16, whose mom said he could miss one day of school was one of the first to bring a doe out of the woods. Wildlife biologists were there to weigh the doe and check it. They are keeping an eye on the health of the herd to see if management is still needed. Low weight could indicate too many deer and an unhealthy herd. Bird's deer after being field dressed came in at 57 lbs, where last year's average was 72 lbs. The biologists asked if he could cut the cheek to determine the doe's age, which was around 2 1/2. For Bird it will make some nice roasts.
What used to be the deer's primary grazing field is now a new Volkswagen assembly plant, which has more deer competing for food at the park. Despite opponents, the hunt must go on to keep the ecosystem healthy. TWRA chose to open the park to hunts on Monday and Tuesday as that was shown to have the least number of park users. From Timefreepress.com.