ACADIA NAT’L PARK — One suggestion for culling deer herds in residential areas outside the park would be to allow bow hunting, said Matt Horton, Bar Harbor’s representative to the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission.
While he made clear at Monday’s meeting of the commission that the park was not part of the problem in terms of the number of deer and that he supports a ban on hunting in Acadia, he felt something should be done, particularly given the number of deer and the prevalence of Lyme disease.
Following a presentation by chief of resource management David Manski on the National Park Service’s policy for managing deer herds, Horton said that many island residents feel their property is being negatively impacted by deer browsing on shrubbery and garden vegetables.
In his presentation to the committee, Manski said that hunting was prohibited in all of the approximately 400 units of the national park unless hunting was specified in the enabling legislation. No such language was included in legislation for Acadia.
Subsequent monitoring by park staff has not found any indication of over browsing – a finding that would support an increase in deer populations – and Manski feels that the deer population is not at a high enough density to justify management. Manski told commissioners that previously he had worked with officials in Mount Desert and that Bruce Connery, a wildlife biologist in Acadia, is part of the committee examining deer populations in Bar Harbor.