Deer management to continue at Havenwoods State Forest
News Release Published: January 16, 2009 by the Southeast Region
Contact(s): Judy Klippel, Havenwoods Superintendent, 414-527-0232Tom Isaac, Wildlife Biologist, 262-670-3409
MILWAUKEE – The Department of Natural Resources will again use sharpshooting to reduce the deer population in Havenwoods State Forest. This is the seventh year of the deer management plan, which was initiated in March 2003. This year’s goal is to reduce the herd by a maximum of 12 deer.
The current estimated population in Havenwoods is 25 to 30 deer. Wildlife biologists recommend a population of between four and 10 deer based on the size of the property and the ability of the vegetation to support the deer herd and other wildlife.
Havenwoods superintendent Judy Klippel said that the large population of deer had been damaging plant communities and creating problems for other wildlife within the property. However, reduction of the deer herd in recent years has been helping reduce the amount of new damage. A large deer herd also increases the potential for deer/vehicle accidents.
Wildlife management staff experienced in urban deer management point out that sharpshooting can be a safe and efficient means of removing deer. It has been used successfully in Milwaukee County parks since 1995. A shooter operates from an elevated stand and directs the shot downward from a position with good visibility and away from public access, ensuring human safety. The shooter can fell a deer with a single shot, killing it instantly and humanely.
Several clearly marked locations will be selected in Havenwoods away from homes and trails. On January 22, experienced sharpshooters will work in the morning and late afternoon. January 23 is the backup date. Signs will be posted on the property alerting visitors when the shooting will take place. The property will be closed to the public during the sharpshooting sessions.
Havenwoods State Forest was established in 1980 and encompasses 237 acres on Milwaukee’s north side. The grounds are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. The environmental education center is open from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and most Saturday mornings. For more information on the deer management program, call Havenwoods at 414-527-0232