FORT A.P. HILL, Va. -- Deer season began here with the annual youth deer hunt on Sept. 28 and by the time the season ended on Jan. 4, hunters had harvested 839 deer, four coyotes and helped the post's ecosystem and training opportunities.
John Yowell, a natural resource specialist of the Fish and Wildlife branch of the Environmental Division said that managing the deer population through a biologically-based hunting program has several positive impacts on Fort A.P. Hill habitat.
"Ecosystem integrity is promoted by maintaining acceptable levels of deer browse on native vegetations which results in increased biodiversity." Yowell said.
Controlling the number of deer on post also helps military training, he said.
"The potential mission conflicts that would result from an overpopulation of deer are avoided."
Predator control is also a part of managing the deer herd. The garrison allows and encourages coyote hunting during deer season to help control the predator population.
Yowell said that hunters harvested 839 deer this season--509 Bucks and 330 Does. Out of the 509 bucks, 405 had antlers and 151 had 8 points or more.
The Post was open for hunting for 79 days, logged 8011 hunting trips for a total of 80,751 hours afield.
Steve Turner of Spotsylvania harvested the largest buck by number of points this season, a 13-point buck.
Yowell praised the Directorate of Emergency Services and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security for handling the increased tempo during deer season. DES conducts back ground checks and weapon registrations and enforces regulations while DPTMS opens training areas for recreational use.
"I want to commend their support of the program in helping Fort A.P. Hill provide some of the best and for some the only hunting opportunities available." Yowell said.
The Fish and Wildlife Branch will publish a full deer harvest report with more information in early February. It will be available to the public.
Note--Fort A.P. Hill Fish & Wildlife Branch maintains a Twitter page where they post program updates and wildlife pictures: @Fish_n_Wildlife