published Friday, September 30th, 2011

Hamilton County to review hunting at Enterprise South Nature Park

  • photo
    A fawn and wanders along the southern boundary of Enterprise South Nature Park late Tuesday morning. Officials are planning on allowing a regulated number of hunters access to the park during two weekends in October to hunt deer and turkey to comply with a contract the park signed with TWRA.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Should deer hunting be allowed at Enterprise South?
  • Yes. 68%
  • No. 32%

981 total votes.

Opponents of controlled archery hunts in the Enterprise South Nature Park convinced Hamilton County commissioners Thursday to review a game management agreement for the park.

A 2005 agreement among the county, Chattanooga and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency allows the agency to manage game on 2,800 acres, including conducting hunts to control the deer population.

Two hunts are scheduled for October in the park, which will be closed to residents a total of four days. Each two-day hunt has a maximum of 80 hunters who are limited to the use of bows and arrows.

Hunts began on the property in 1978 after officials from the Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant asked for help controlling deer overpopulation on the site.

On Thursday, Diane Dixon, a local attorney who represents a loose coalition of residents, appeared before commissioners for a second week, asking them to review the agreement with TWRA.

"We have a new group of stakeholders who would like a voice in how the park is managed," she said.

Commission Chairman Larry Henry referred the issue to the Building and Economic Development Committee headed by Commissioner Greg Beck.

A time for the meeting had not been set Thursday.

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about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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EaTn said...

I have no dog in this particular race, but in general hunting is safer than automobiles in controlling deer and turkey overpopulation.

September 30, 2011 at 4:32 a.m.
rolando said...

Good one, EaTn. Dry humor is the best kind.

September 30, 2011 at 6:43 a.m.
biofish said...

I will explain this to the "loose group of residents" just like I did to my 6 year old who wanted a puppy: If you want the cute little deer to live, you will be responsible for them. You will clean up after them. You will have to PAY for the damages they cause to the area. You will have to reimburse vehicle owners for any accident damage. And, heaven forbid, if someone dies you will be held liable. Owning a herd of deer is a privilege.. not a right. Now, go clean your room.

September 30, 2011 at 8:50 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Deer are beautiful animals, but I've gotten over the idea that they are all Bambi. Unless the herd is winnowed on a regular basis, deer quickly become over-populated, especially as there are no wolves, etc. to keep the numbers down. They are voracious and devour almost all available vegetation (even "deer resistant" varieties) -- then become under-nourished and diseased. It's not kind or responsible to allow that to happen.
There are sensible ways to manage the population. For example, Sewanee has an archery deer cull every year; non-hunting locals can sign up for deer the hunters don't keep. Venison is a lean, and very tasty meat when cooked properly.
We honor the animal, and support controlling its population.

September 30, 2011 at 9:01 a.m.
rides2far said...

Obviously there are other remedies for overpopulation...that the "loose coalition of concerned citizens" (that's plural so I have to assume there were at least two of them) should consider. We could reintroduce grizzlies, mountain lions, wolves...or even all those excess pit bulls to help control the deer population. By leaving the population unchecked they would be begging for a huge boom in the local coyote population. I wonder what both of the concerned citizens would think of that? Since we as humans choose not to have predators running loose in our residential areas it is our responsibility to take their place...since we are, after all predators. (Sorry all you vegetarians...until you get your eyes to grow on the sides of your head instead of the front you are still classified as meat eaters). Deer who are never hunted become very casual about human contact and become more and more of a threat. An occasional hunt keeps the deer wary and they work much harder at avoiding human contact (including those in vehicles).A 120 lb. deer would make a heck of a dent in the front of a light weight electric car. I think of deer as "free range cattle" steroids or additives and they live a happy pastoral life right up until they end up on the plate instead of rotting on the side of the road. Nobody works harder than hunters and the WMA at making sure the deer population is healthy and happy. The "Concerned Citizens" should leave it to the people who have devoted their lives to properly managing herds.

September 30, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.
jayhay182 said...

I like how they put a picture of a fawn with the story. They won't be hunting fawns or does, just the male deers. I guess they wanted to make us feel sorry for the poor deers. But if the population is not controlled then the people that are opposed to hunting the animals will be the first ones to complain when the overpopulated deers start getting into their trash and walking across the roads and getting hit by cars or eating all their flowers their wife just planted. I just wonder who is going to control the human population. (sarcasm) What are we at now? About 7 billion?

September 30, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.
Didedi62 said...

I feel that there should be no hunting on this property because of all the new industry. Someone other than deer or turkeys could end up being hurt. If you want to control the deer and wild turkeys then have animal rescue capture them and take to places that they do allow hunting.

September 30, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
jesse said...

thats how they got here to start with!those are blacktail deer brought here from ,i believe cali.back in the 1960's!

they are not native whitetail deer!

September 30, 2011 at 3 p.m.
elkhart007 said...

Didedi, it's a bow hunt not muzzleloader. That's about as safe as it gets. They don't go off half cocked letting arrows fly all over the forrest. Who's going to pay animal rescue to trap deer and turkeys? 100s of them possibly? Nay sayers need to be more realistic here.

September 30, 2011 at 6:23 p.m.
aklashlee said...

To Jayhay182 FYI does will be hunted also silly! Everything is game unless it has spots (babies). This is needed and has been a practice for years, get over it people. Seems most people accept this. We have a few people at work that don't agree and have tried to explain it too them but they just don't get it!
I think if they showed a picture of a diseased ridden, starving deer, instead of a nonhuntable baby a few of them might wake up but I doubt it. Take off the blinders people and see the big picture!

September 30, 2011 at 8:15 p.m.
sweetdream20 said...

"There are no wolves etc to keep the numbers down" yeah. You obviously don't have a clue. Or ears to notice the late-night yowling of coyotes. Nature has a way of taking care of itself without man's interference. Some people adamantly refuse to acknowledge it. We might have an overpopulation of wild rabbits. But you don't hear anything about that because no one wants to hang rabbit-ear trophies etc.

September 30, 2011 at 8:28 p.m.
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