Parts of Duke Forest will be closed in the coming months to allow deer hunting.
It is the 10th year Duke has allowed hunting in the forest as part of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Deer Management Assistance Program, according to a news release.
Duke Forest consists of more than 7,000 acres of land maintained by Duke University for teaching, research and recreational use and lies west of West Campus.
Duke says it needs to bring hunters in to reduce the damage too many deer are doing to the forest.
There were 55 deer taken during the 2016 hunt, up from 43 in the previous year. A population survey following last year’s hunt also showed a dramatic increase in total deer spotted when compared to the previous six years, which likely led to the larger harvest.
Hunting will be allowed on weekdays only from Sept. 25-Dec. 15 in the Durham Divisions straddling Durham and Orange counties, and the Korstian and Blackwood divisions in Orange County, which will be closed for public access and for all recreation. These areas will be open on Saturdays and Sundays for normal use, as well as during Nov. 23-24 for Thanksgiving.
The Edeburn (formerly Eno) and Hillsboro divisions in Orange County and Dailey division in Alamance County are not part of this program and will remain open throughout the fall.
The hunt is highly regulated. The Durham and Korstian divisions will be hunted with bow and arrow only while the Blackwood Division will include both bow and gun hunting.
Hunters must register, take part in orientation, and also check in and out with Duke Forest management personnel.
Signs will be posted at all gated entrances to Duke Forest. Staff will be issuing citations to any unauthorized users found in the forest during the hunt.