The public will be able to go on white deer tours starting this month.
The Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York has been the center of many deer-related headlines in recent years. The site is home to a herd of leucistic, or mostly white deer.
The recessive leucistic trait so prevalent in deer on the 7,000 acre site is the result of a high fence that has been in place around the base since 1941.
Originally the numerous bunkers on the depot were used by the army to store bombs and ammo.
But now the former military site will finally open to the public for guided tours on November 16. “The world’s largest herd of white, white-tailed deer form the centerpiece of the tours, which will also feature military artifacts from decades (of the depot being) a major weapons storage facility,” Seneca White Deer Inc. President Dennis Money told NYUP.com.
The news is huge for a herd of deer whose future was looking pretty murky just two years ago. The Army stopped using the depot in 2000 and eventually left the land to the county.
This led to the land being put on the market and locals were worried the unique deer herd could be obliterated by land developments. There are an estimated 80 white deer roaming the depot’s interior. Fortunately, businessman Earl Martin stepped up to the plate by purchasing 7,200 acres of the site for the development of a tourist attraction.
That development including patching holes in the old base’s fences and building a $300,000 welcome center where tours will be run in buses.
NYUP additionally reports Martin had ecological surveys of the property done. Food plots were constructed and holes in the old depots fencing were patched. Some had been made by poachers, but security patrols have been stepped up to try and eliminate that problem.
Featured on the tours will be the food plots and stops at underground “igloos” that were once used to store weapons and ammunition. The tours are initially slated to be held on Thursdays through Sundays all year round.
So if you’re passing through central New York State anytime soon, here’s a new tourist destination to add to your list!