Several Howard County parks will hold hunting hours beginning next month in efforts to manage white-tailed deer populations in the county.
In the eastern U.S., deer overpopulation has hurt forests more than global warming, according to a recent report in Forbes.
This year’s hunts in Howard County will be a combination of bow and shotgun, according to a county release, and hours will be from dawn until noon.
County officials released the following hunting schedule:
Bow and Shotgun: Oct. 10; Nov. 13; Nov. 21; Jan. 22
Bow Hunting: Oct. 3; Oct. 15; Oct. 31; Nov. 7; Nov. 18; Feb. 5; Feb. 12
Bow and Shotgun: Oct. 8; Oct. 29; Nov. 5; Nov. 26; Jan. 15
Shotgun Hunting: Oct. 23; Nov. 19; Jan. 16; Jan. 29
Bow and Shotgun: Oct. 14; Oct. 28; Nov. 4; Nov. 11; Nov. 25; Jan. 9; Jan. 23; Feb. 20
Shotgun Hunting: Jan. 30; Feb. 6
West Friendship Park (Wounded Soldiers Hunt):
Bow & Shotgun: Oct. 24; Nov. 12; Dec. 11; Feb. 26
The managed hunt program is for “specially screened and selected hunters,” county officials said.
The department of recreation and parks also has a sharpshooting program, which uses “licensed and qualified marksmen and precise, accurate, noise-suppressed firearms at night in areas where the managed hunt is not feasible.”
According to the parks and recreation website, many residents have said they are concerned that white-tailed deer populations damage crops, gardens and landscaping.