2012 QUABBIN DEER HUNT
The Quabbin Controlled Deer Hunt is an annual event conducted on Quabbin Reservoir watershed lands, implemented as part of the management program to maintain a balance between deer herd densities and forest regeneration.
All successful applicants will receive written notification by early October. For further information, please contact the Quabbin Visitor Center at (413) 323-7221.
Since its creation in the 1930s, hunting had not been permitted on the Quabbin Reservation. Consequently, densities of several wildlife species exceeded those found in other parts of the state where hunting has historically been allowed. In particular, deer densities in some areas of the reservation were three to five times the statewide average.
In June of 1989, the former Division of Watershed Management of the Metropolitan District Commission, now the Office of Watershed Management of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, determined that the deer herd was negatively impacting its mandate to protect the natural resources and water of Quabbin. At that time it was also determined that the most workable and achievable solution to this situation was to reduce deer populations using a series of controlled public hunts.
Controlled hunts began in 1991 in the Pelham area and expanded to the four other management blocks (Prescott, New Salem, Hardwick and Petersham) during the next three years. As deer population densities have been lowered, yearly hunting effort has also been reduced so that by 1996 only one hunting segment was used in each hunt area. This is in keeping with DCR’s intent to scale back hunting effort as the program moves from the initial reduction phase to a population maintenance phase. The goal of this latter phase is to maintain deer densities at levels that allow for the continued establishment and development of forest regeneration. While hunter success has been lower during this phase than in earlier years, the exceptional scenery and habitat of Quabbin Reservation still makes for a quality hunting experience.
During 2012, hunting will occur in the following areas: Pelham between Gates 5 and 16; Prescott between Gates 17 and 21; New Salem between Gates 22 and 35; and Hardwick between Gates 41 and 50. Each of the four areas will have one, two-day segment as follows: Pelham and Hardwick on Nov. 29 & 30, and Prescott and New Salem on Dec. 6 & 7. Access will be restricted to designated gates. Hunters must check in and out by posted times on each day they hunt and obey all regulations and directions of DCR and law enforcement personnel.
There is a $5 per hunter NON-REFUNDABLE application fee. The hunt may be cancelled due to severe weather conditions or security situations.
Hunters will be assigned to a specific access zone where they must check in and out each day. Hunters are no longer required to purchase a Quabbin specific antlerless permit as the DCR moves towards a permit allocation system. In 2012, hunters interested in purchasing an antlerless permit will have the opportunity prior to the hunt. Each hunter should check the “YES” box on the application if they plan to purchase a Quabbin antlerless permit if they are selected. To minimize vehicular traffic and increase efficiency, hunters may apply in groups of up to six with a MINIMUM of two.
Since 2007, hunters have been able to use muzzleloaders for the Quabbin Deer Hunt. However, all hunters must possess a valid FID Card in order to participate in the hunt.
Approximately 1,000 hunters will be randomly selected from applications submitted with the required fee. TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF BEING SELECTED, CHECK AS MANY SEGMENTS AS POSSIBLE FOR WHICH EVERYONE WILL BE AVAILABLE. Beginning this year the DCR will be able to place hunters in segments according to their preferences. Rank the segments from 1 (highest) through 4 (lowest) for all segments you want to hunt. Leave blank any segments you do not wish to hunt. The drawing to select hunters will be based on the last digits of your MassWildlife Customer ID Number. All eligible Customer ID numbers listed on the application will be included in the lottery. Selected hunters will be required to attend an orientation session prior to the 2012 Quabbin deer hunt except for those who attended an orientation in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 or 2005. ANYONE REQUIRED TO ATTEND AN ORIENTATION BUT FAILS TO WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE HUNT.
Department of Conservation & Recreation