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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.
This year, DCR and MassWildlife will implement a two-phased management plan that includes the following components:
Hunters interested in applying should review the 2017 management plan prior to submitting an application.
Hunter Selection & Access Permitting: Licensed archery hunters must complete and submit an application to DCR to participate in this archery hunting opportunity. All applicants are required to have a valid 2017 Massachusetts hunting license. Access permits will be valid on all days in which archery hunting will be allowed and permitted hunters will be allowed to hunt based upon their schedule and availability.
Number of Hunters: DCR will conduct a random lottery to select a single group of 75 archery hunters to receive access permits.
Hunting Dates: Permitted archery hunting in designated areas of the Reservation will be allowed on Mondays through Thursdays between November 6th and November 22nd.
Management Areas: Archery hunting will be allowed in 790 acres of the Reservation. Selected archery hunters will not be assigned to a particular area while hunting. Please click on the link below to view a map of areas that will be opened to archery hunting:
Hunting Dates: Controlled shotgun hunting will take place on the following 4 days:
Hunter Selection & Access Permitting: Licensed shotgun hunters must complete and submit an application to participate in this controlled hunt. All applicants must possess a valid 2017 Massachusetts hunting license and those who live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must also have a valid FID card or License to Carry. Applicants for shotgun hunting will be allowed to apply in groups of up to 2 hunters. Hunters may also apply as individuals. Permittees will be selected using a random lottery.
Number of Hunters: DCR will select 2 separate groups of 131 shotgun hunters. Each hunter will be permitted to hunt for 2 days. The first group of hunters will be permitted to hunt during the first week and the second group of hunters will be permitted to hunt during the second week. Applicants are required to choose which days they prefer to hunt on their application. Applicants will be grouped and selected according to the dates chosen on their application.
Selection of Alternates: DCR will select a pool of alternate hunters to draw from should a permitted hunter be unable to participate in the hunt. Selected alternates must attend an orientation session to be included on the final list of alternate hunters.
Management Areas & Hunter Distribution: Of the more than 7,000 acres that comprise the Blue Hills Reservation, 3,965 acres will be opened to shotgun hunting. Please click on the link below to see a map of areas that will be opened to shotgun hunting:
The application period for 2017 is now closed.