Press Release

Press Release  DCR Announces 2023 Deer Management Plan for Blue Hills Reservation

Controlled Hunt is Part of the Agency’s Efforts to Manage Deer Overpopulation and Maintain the State’s Natural Resources
For immediate release:
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact   for DCR Announces 2023 Deer Management Plan for Blue Hills Reservation

Ilyse Wolberg, DCR Press Secretary

Milton — The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), announced that it is accepting applications for the 2023 Deer Management Plan for the Blue Hills Reservation. The hunts will be conducted in designated areas of the Blue Hills Reservation during the month of November.  

DCR has safely and successfully conducted annual controlled hunts in the Blue Hills Reservation since 2015. Like previous years, the 2023 management plan will allow permitted archery hunting in 2,622 acres of the over 7,000 acres of parkland within the reservation, from Mondays through Thursdays between November 6, 2023, and November 22, 2023. There will not be hunting on Thursday, November 23, 2023, in observance of Thanksgiving. Licensed hunters will be required to submit an application. DCR will issue up to 225 permits. 

Hunters interested in applying for a permit this year should visit the Blue Hills Deer Management Program. Selected hunters will be required to complete a virtual mandatory hunter orientation to review the guidelines for deer hunting in the Blue Hills. Additionally, the website contains an overview and results from previous years, including information regarding logistics and an analysis of harvest results from last year’s controlled hunting program. 

The Blue Hills Deer Management Program utilizes controlled and permitted hunting as part of DCR’s efforts to manage the high deer densities that negatively impact the natural resources within the state reservation. Benefits of managing the deer herd within the Blue Hills Reservation include: 

·       Promotion of tree and plant regeneration, including rare plants;  

·       Sustainability of species diversity; and, 

·       Diminished risk of forest wildfires due to the growth of plant life.    

Licensed hunters play an important role in managing deer populations. It is the primary management tool used throughout the country and in Massachusetts to successfully address deer overabundance and vegetation over-browse. The Quabbin Reservoir controlled deer hunt is the most notable example of a successful hunting initiative to control deer overpopulation. In addition, DCR manages thousands of acres of forest and parkland across the state where licensed hunters are allowed to hunt during the regulated seasons. For more information on hunting in Massachusetts and safety tips for hunters and non-hunters, visit the MassWildlife website.  


Media Contact   for DCR Announces 2023 Deer Management Plan for Blue Hills Reservation

  • Department of Conservation & Recreation 

    DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
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