Bowhunters took two dozen deer during the first 2013 hunt on Hamilton County's Enterprise South Nature Park. The two-day hunt wrapped up Tuesday evening.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency biologist Ben Layton said Tuesday night, "We've had 24 deer checked out that were taken by 22 hunters."
Each hunter was allowed up to two deer. The hunt is held each year to try and prevent the deer from overpopulating in the area. Layton says too many deer will harm the habitat for all wildlife, plus it increases the potential for dangerous deer-car collisions in the area.
When the Enterprise South park originally opened to the public, there was much controversy about holding a hunt for what many park visitors considered "tame deer."
There were 80 permits issued for the hunt but Layton said that only 66 hunters showed up Monday morning. He said there were fewer than 50 Tuesday. Twenty-two successful hunters means two-thirds of the archers went home without a deer.
"We did have one husband-wife team who both took deer," said Layton. "Jessica Rasnick and her husband Matthew, from Johnson City, Tenn., both took deer. Jessica had a nice five-point buck, the first deer she had ever taken in her life."
Layton said the best deer taken was a 14-point buck that weighed about 120 pounds (dressed weight).
Another hunt exclusively for military veterans will be held Oct. 21-22. This is the second year for the "Hunt for Warriors" sponsored by TWRA and the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Safari Club International. The special hunt for veterans was created in part to quell the controversy over holding deer hunts on the popular park. The Safari Club chapter provides lodging and meals for the wounded veterans chosen by the military to take part in the two-day hunt.
Richard Simms is a contributing writer, focusing on outdoor sports.
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