This year Anoka County Parks will be offering controlled archery deer hunts within two of its parks; Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and Bunker Hills Regional Park. Hunters may apply to participate in the controlled archery deer hunts by submitting an application to the Anoka County Parks Department. To be eligible to hunt, participants must complete a one time only bow hunter education course, submit an application and signed hunt program rules, attend a pre-hunt orientation, and pay the $15 program fee.
For nearly 20 years Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department has been actively monitoring and managing deer populations within its park system. Through a process of aerial and ground deer surveys, analysis of car / deer collision data, and public comment, Anoka County Parks has implemented a strategy for maintaining deer herd populations.
As the metro area has continued to expand, parks have become enclosed with roadways and developments, isolating deer populations. With the lack of natural predators deer populations have increased beyond the carrying capacity of the land. In an effort to control deer populations and minimize impacts on the environment as well as private property surrounding park land, Anoka County Parks has implemented controlled archery deer hunts.
The goal and long-range management plan for white-tailed deer within Anoka County Park System includes closely inventorying and monitoring deer population densities via winter aerial surveys and maintaining the deer population densities between 15 to 20 deer per square mile. If the deer population exceeds 20 deer per square mile, the carrying capacity of the land, or the available food and habitat for the deer, typically is not sufficient to effectively support the resident deer herd. In addition, public safety concerns are directly associated with the number of car / deer collisions in and surrounding Anoka County park areas. Furthermore, reproductive, age, and mortality data are collected and analyzed to generate an estimated deer population index. As a result, controlled archery deer hunts within the Anoka County Park System are determined annually based upon the analyses of the available survey data.