Archery deer management hunt at the Arboretum
The active management of the Arboretum’s deer herd is a response to a very high population both locally and throughout the region. Deer browse on trees, shrubs, and flowers, and damage the natural plant communities we are working to maintain and enhance in the Arboretum. We have worked closely with the wildlife personnel from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and they have estimated that the Arboretums deer population is approximately ten times the optimum for this sort of habitat. The Archery hunt both reduces the local population and helps discourage deer from entering the Arboretum from the surrounding area to establish winter yarding (concentrated groups) areas.
Archery hunting of white-tailed deer is currently allowed in portions of the Lower Arboretum from Thanksgiving day until the end of the calendar year. Archers must apply to the Arboretum staff for written permission to participate in the hunt. The hunt is closely monitored to ensure safety of visitors and careful use of the Arboretum. A map of the area open to the archery program is found here.
Please note that preference is given to successful hunters from prior years and that less then 35 hunters are permitted each year. In order for our program to successfully reduce the local population of deer, the Arboretum requires that each hunter must first harvest an antler-less deer from the Arboretum prior to harvesting an antlered deer. Antler-less deer "credit" may be carried over from previous years.
The application period for the 2014 Archery Hunt is now closed. Information regarding the 2015 hunt will be posted by October 1, 2015.