Update on 2011 Management Activities (10/14/2011)
Deer reduction activities will resume this season with spotlight surveys during the week of October 24. The spotlight surveys are one of many tools the NPS uses to estimate the deer population and its effects on park natural resources.
Closures for direct reduction begin on November 14, with a total of six weeks scheduled throughout the winter. Scheduled closures are subject to change due to weather, population patterns, and other circumstances. See the official press release for details.
Last year, reduction took place over 19 nights between December 2010 and March 2011, resulting in the removal of 192 deer from the park. A total of 4,743 pounds of venison resulting from this action was donated to the Maryland Food Bank and Thurmont Food Bank in Frederick County, Maryland.
A total of 180 deer were tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal, neurological disease that has been detected in Maryland approximately 45 miles from the Park boundary. All of these deer tested negative for the presence of CWD.
Reduction using firearms will continue annually to reduce and maintain the deer population at Catoctin. Before the first season of deer management began (February - March 2010), there were approximately 123 deer per square mile in the Park. Following this herd reduction, there are now 87 deer per square mile, still approximately 6 times larger than the density of deer in healthy forest ecosystems (15 deer per square mile). The number of deer removed annually will be based on the results of annual vegetation monitoring and the results of deer population monitoring conducted each fall. The deer herd will be maintained at a density that allows the forest to regenerate at a healthy rate, as determined by the annual vegetation monitoring.
Check this page and our news releases for updates.Click here to download detailed answers to some FAQs.
Did You Know?
Deputy Sheriff Clyde L. Hauver was the first Frederick County, Maryland, Deputy to be killed in the line of duty. He was leading a raid on the Blue Blazes Whiskey Still on July 31, 1929 when he was shot and killed.