Anyone that has travelled along Wilson Road, especially from dusk through dawn, can attest to the fact that there is an abundance of deer in the area.

As a result, Garrison officials, in cooperation with installation stakeholders that includes Knox Hills, are taking steps to reduce deer numbers in the cantonment area to lessen the possibility for vehicle-deer strikes. The threat to public safety from deer strikes is a real concern, especially in this area where the speed limit is 45 mph.

Soon, the Natural Resources Branch's Hunt Control Office will make available the opportunity for archery deer hunters to harvest additional antlerless deer in these areas. This is in addition to the installation season bag limit.

Hunting will be focused on the female population, as harvesting bucks does little to reduce population growth potential. Controls will be implemented to reduce the potential for any safety issues, public concerns, and to make the activity as unobtrusive as possible. Some of those controls include specified parking areas away from housing units, limits on how close hunters can get to housing, and roads and buildings that archery deer hunters can hunt.

This program was implemented several years ago in the area adjacent to Dietz and Anderson Greens housing areas prior to the transition to privatized housing. As well, the area east of Wilson has seen very limited hunting. Since discontinuing hunting in these areas, deer strikes in the cantonment, especially along the Wilson corridor, have increased.

An overabundance of deer in the urban interface is a widespread problem that many municipalities face.

Not only are growing deer numbers a concern for motorists' safety, they also can have detrimental effects on ornamental landscaping and can increase the prevalence of ticks when not managed. Many municipalities have initiated archery hunting in urbanized spaces, successfully reducing some of these problems.

As a reminder, Knox Hills residents living in homes adjacent to any hunting area or their guests are not permitted to access the areas directly from their home for the purpose of activities related to hunting. Knox Hills has assisted in providing access to the focus areas but their community staff and associates are not directly involved in the management of the hunting program.

For further details on the program or to register for hunts, visit the Fort Knox iSportsman website at the link below or call the Hunt Control Office at 502-624-7311 during the business hours posted on the iSportsman home page.