Historic St. Mary's City Invites a Managed Hunt After Decades of Letting Deer Roam Freely

Beginning this Monday, November 28, certain trails will be closed on Historic St. Mary’s City lands in order to carry out a managed deer hunt. 

For decades now Historic St. Mary's City's lands have been a haven for deer during the hunting season, but this year a managed hunt is being implemented in an attempt to control their growing population. Several local residents are displeased by the move.

One resident of Lucas Cove complains that the people living beside the areas that will be hunted this week have not been notified, and he says he only learned of it through a neighbor who received an email sent to the St. Mary’s College community. He also wonders if the lack of information is a deliberate move to prevent possible protests from the locals who live off Rosecroft in the Historic area. He says he understands that the State might feel it necessary to take action to control the deer population in the area, but, he says, he had expected to be at least notified, if not involved in the decision. “This used to be a democracy,” he said. “I think most of the residents would understand and support the decision, but there ought to be some form of vote.”

Another local suspects that the controlled hunt may have been kept somewhat covert because authorities might be concerned that other hunters will take advantage of the opportunity to hunt in what is one of the county’s prime areas.

Many feel the deer are part of the Historic community. A couple of the inhabitants of Rosecroft and its adjoining streets lay out food for their neighborhood deer each evening. In particular, several people from the surrounding neighborhoods expressed concern for a young albino deer that has become a favorite this fall.

This week Historic St. Mary’s City is closing trails in the vicinity of
Rosecroft Road, including the Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation, the area between the Brome-Howard Inn and Chancellor’s Point, and the woods near Lucas Cove Road. Bright orange net barriers are being erected along with prominent “Do Not Enter” signs to warn those who might usually walk the affected paths and areas. Historic St. Mary’s City management is asking people to please take note of the precautions and not trespass for their own safety. 

The managed hunt may continue through Saturday, December 10. Other Historic St. Mary’s City trails and walkways are remaining open during this period, including the historic interpretation area near St. Mary’s College campus and along the bluff between the State House and the Visitor Center. 

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