With the number of hunters dwindling and this year's harvest low, Cornell University offers a solution.
Everyone knows the number of hunters falls every year, but what many people don't understand is how important the role of hunters is in deer management. With less hunters, less licenses are sold; and when less licenses are sold, not enough deer are harvested to keep the balance.
That's why Cornell University has reopened its enrollment for a second round.
Cornell University owns nearly 10,000 acres around Ithaca, New York, that is used in its deer management program. Each January, the university issues special permits that allow hunters to continue hunting after the regular season ends. This program is an integral part of the area's deer management plan.
In 2013, 1,100 hunters obtained permits. This year, there were only 875.
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Todd Bittner, the director of natural area for Cornell Plantations, discussed the issue with the Ithaca Journal:
If you come to our areas surrounding Ithaca, we have almost no forest regeneration. The deer numbers are so high. Almost every palatable plant which deer eat are being totally eliminated from the forest. It will have a long term impact on all plants and animals reliant on those species. Obviously there are concerns about Lyme disease, vehicle collisions, crop damage, the list goes on. So the impacts are significant.
The university decided that, for the first time, they would do a second round of enrollment in an attempt to increase the permits. There is no cost to obtain a permit and they are available to all licensed hunters in New York. The program opened again on Dec. 1, and permits can be obtained through Dec. 21.
For more information on the program or to learn how you can obtain a permit, check out Cornell University's Deer Management Program's website.