The Blue Hills Deer Management Program is part of DCR’s long-term effort to manage high deer densities within the Blue Hills Reservation. The primary objective and rationale for developing and implementing a deer management program is to maintain an ecologically sustainable deer density that allows for the continuous growth and development of forest regeneration. In particular, DCR wishes to reduce the negative impacts that high deer densities have on the regenerating forest to ensure a healthy forest composed of adequate diversity of species and age classes.
To initiate deer management within the Blue Hills, DCR and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) developed and successfully implemented the first-ever controlled deer hunt within the Reservation during the 2015 shotgun season. To continue these efforts, DCR and MassWildlife implemented a second controlled deer hunt in 2016 which featured both shotgun and archery hunting in designated areas of the Reservation.
During the spring of 2017, DCR and MassWildlife worked together to conduct two separate deer abundance surveys in the Blue Hills utilizing two different methodologies. The first method – distance sampling – is similar in nature and scope to the method used in 2013 by MassWildlife to initially estimate deer abundance in the Blue Hills. The second method – pellet count surveys – is similar in nature and scope to the method used by DCR’s Division of Water Supply Protection (DWSP) to estimate deer abundance at the Quabbin Reservoir Reservation.
On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, DCR and MassWildlife will host a public meeting to review the outcomes of the 2016 controlled hunt program, review findings from both of the 2017 deer abundance surveys, and provide information regarding the proposed 2017 Deer Management Plan.
In addition, DCR and MassWildlife have released a Blue Hills 2016-2017 Deer Management Program Report file size 3MB, which provides details regarding each of the topics that will be covered during the public meeting.
Please click on the following link to view a copy of the: Blue Hills Deer Management Program Public Meeting Notice