Cornell Deer Hunting Program
Beginning in 2015 hunters should only apply to hunt deer via the Plantations deer hunting site, http://www.cornellplantations.org/our-gardens/natural-areas/stewardship/deer ; or the Arnot Forest web page http://blogs.cornell.edu/arnotforest/
Situation on Cornell lands
Campus: Increasing interactions between deer and various properties on and around Cornell University lands have resulted in the need to implement and evaluate a deer research and management program to reduce negative impacts. A critical component of this research is implementation of a deer hunting system that will reduce the overall deer population while maintaining these opportunities for future generations of hunters. Hunting has been, and continues to be, compatible with the philosophy of multiple-use management on Cornell lands. For this project, Cornell lands have been divided into two zones: a core campus area and outlying areas adjacent to the core campus. The primary objective for the core campus zone (1,103 acres) is to reduce deer damage to unique plant collections or research plots, and minimize safety risks associated with deer. We plan to monitor complaints about deer damage to plants, reported deer-vehicle accidents, and deer abundance. The goal is to reduce deer associated complaints using fertility control research. The outlying areas comprise a zone of almost 4,000 acres that contains agricultural fields, woodlots, and natural areas. Limited hunting has been allowed on most of these properties for decades. The primary objective for these areas is to reduce deer damage to agricultural fields and natural areas through the use of controlled hunting on areas with safe shooting zones that meet state discharge regulations. The focus will be to increase the harvest of female deer and lower the reproductive potential and herd size near campus in areas that can be safely hunted. Close to campus, archery hunting will be the primary approach. Where practical, shotgun and muzzleloader hunting will be permitted based on input from the Cornell University Police and land managers. Temporary electric and other fencing designs will also be used to protect research plots during the growing season.
Arnot Forest: The Arnot Forest (4,075 acres) is owned by Cornell University and managed by Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Click here for a general link to learn more about the Arnot Forest. As part of NY’s Land Grant Education Institution, DNR is responsible for fulfilling the mission of conducting research, teaching, and delivering extension programs on issues of importance to the citizens of NYS. Forest management is a significant issue as nearly two-thirds of NY’s land is covered by forests. The DNR uses the Arnot Forest as a research base and demonstration forest from which to develop innovative programs for the citizens of the state. One of the primary management goals at the Arnot is the production and harvest of high-quality, high-value sawtimber. Unfortunately, similar to the situation across much of NY’s Southern Tier, the deer population at the Arnot has been too high to allow sufficient natural regeneration despite proper sawtimber management. In an effort to resolve this problem and gain valuable experience that may be applied elsewhere in the state, we have recently initiated studies designed to assess the impact deer are having on tree regeneration at the Forest. A critical component of this research is implementation of a deer hunting system that will reduce the overall deer population. As in most areas of the state, sport hunting is still the most effective manner by which to control deer populations. Sport hunting has been, and continues to be, totally compatible with the philosophy of multiple-use management at the Forest.
The Arnot Forest is mostly woodlands off Schuyler County Route 13 in the Towns of Van Etten (Schuyler County) and Newfield (Tompkins County). Shotguns, muzzleloaders, and archery implements (no rifles) can be used in this area during the appropriate Southern Zone deer seasons. Access is only provided through the south gate.