Controlled Deer Hunt Set for Brandywine Creek


Mar 11, 2001
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November 22, 2002

Division of Parks and Recreation

Contact: Dwight Anttila, Brandywine Creek State Park, phone: 302-577-3534;
or Rob Hossler, Augustine Wildlife Management Area, phone: 302-834-8434.

Controlled Deer Hunt Set for Brandywine Creek State Park

Brandywine Creek State Park in northern New Castle County will be closed to the general public on Dec. 17, 18 and 19 for a controlled deer hunt managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The hunt will be conducted from deer stands and will encompass both sides of the park.

The hunt has been held annually since 1994 to reduce the number of white-tailed deer on the 1,000-acre park to a manageable level and curb the serious habitat damage being caused by the foraging animals. Hunting is not otherwise permitted in the park.

Sixty-six hunters and 39 alternates were selected by lottery. Twenty-two will participate each day. Hunters may shoot more than one deer, but must take an antlerless deer first to help meet the goal of controlling the deer population. Each hunter can keep only one deer. Others will be donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger, which provides venison to food banks throughout the state.

“We don’t want to eliminate the deer,” says Park Superintendent Dwight Anttila. “They are a beautiful addition to the park and an integral part of the ecosystem. But we need to keep the numbers in check to prevent them from destroying the vegetation, reducing the biodiversity, transporting the tick that bears Lyme disease, and colliding with cars.”

Deer damage most often shows up in the steady decline of vegetation. “When they are hungry, they eat pretty much anything, from saplings and tree limbs to tasty ornamental shrubs,” according to Anttila.

“With natural predation of whitetail deer a thing of the past in this region, the most effective means of culling a suburban herd, like the one at Brandywine Creek State Park, is with controlled hunts,” adds Division of Fish and Wildlife Regional Biologist Rob Hossler. “In terms of population dynamics, it is working, as shown by the fact that the current hunt is designed more to maintain the deer herd at an acceptable level rather than an emphasis on further reductions.” In the eight years controlled hunts have been held at the park 252 deer have been harvested.

For more information on the management hunt, call the Brandywine Creek State Park office at 302-577-3534 or the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Augustine field office at 302-834-8433.

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