Complaints from Howard County residents about the havoc caused by the rampant deer population have prompted the Department of Natural Resources to call for a much larger bow-hunting area in the Patapsco Valley State Park.
For the past four years, bow-and-arrow hunting has been used on more than 800 acres of the state park to help curb the exploding deer population.
Now the department wants to add 1,800 acres to the hunting area to reduce the number of deer and ensure that those remaining are healthy.
"The deer is a resource that is out of control," said Sgt. Bruce Wilkins, a park ranger. "They are eating everything green, even pine trees. There are too many deer and too little food."
Patapsco Valley State Park staff will outline details of the proposed hunting area expansion at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at Mount View Middle School, 12101 Woodford Drive.
These tracts of land are under consideration:
The 800-acre Steiner Tract east of Driver Road.
The 400-acre Sorrenson Tract west of Marriottsville Road.
The 500-acre Ramsburg Tract east of River Road near Sykesville.
100 acres of the Hollofield Area near Ellicott City, south of U.S. 40.
Barring any opposition at the Aug. 20 meeting, Wilkins said he hopes to announce then a date for the expansion, which would ideally begin by the start of the hunting season on Sept. 15.
The expansion would go smoothly, Wilkins said, because of the large buffer zone between the expanded hunting tracts and residential areas. He said safety signs would mark the hunting area.
Pub Date: 8/11/96