Who Wants to Go Hunting in the Blue Hills?
Deer have become such a problem on Blue Hills Reservation that the Department of Conservation and Recreation is seriously considering opening the 6,000-acre reservation to hunters for a brief period in December.
The Patriot Ledger is reporting that DCR wants to open the area to 240 deer hunters (no, not that kind you weirdo) to help cull the out of control herd. The deer have become such a nuisance in the areas around the reservation that they are now spreading disease and damaging the forest.
The hunting season is not set in stone though as the plan to open up the park to hunters has to go through several public meetings before it definitely happens.
If the state approves of a controlled hunting period, it will be the first time there has been legal hunting on Blue Hills Reservation since it at least 1893, the year the state acquired it and converted it into a recreational space.
There are so many Bambis and Rudolphs running wild in the Blue Hills that there are approximately 85 deer per square mile, a density that is far beyond the state’s recommend level of 6-18.
State Senator Brian Joyce described the situation to the Ledger as “growing to a crisis level.”
Now anyone with fears of a bunch of Duck Dynasty wannabes overrunning Blue Hills with tree stands and high power hunting rifles needs to calm right down. The hunting rules limit prospective hunters to shotguns armed with just slugs. Cleetus, the wannabe commando is not going to be roaming the woods of Quincy and Milton anytime soon.
A similar proposal around the Quabbin Reservoir was implemented in the 1990s to address the large deer population. What separates this hunting proposal from others on state land is the close proximity to population centers. Shooting deer by the Quabbin is not the same as shooting deer at a place that is often overrun by hikers and outdoorsy types that could not make their way to New Hampshire or Western Mass. that particular day.