Kaukauna nature area wants hunters to reduce deer

1000 Islands Environmental Center
File photo. (WLUK)

KAUKAUNA (AP) – A Kaukauna environmental center is allowing bow hunters to kill deer this fall in the ultimate effort to promote new tree growth.

The 1000 Islands Environmental Center will allow licensed bow hunters to cull deer from its upper woods from Sept. 13 to Oct. 3, according to Post-Crescent Media.

“Our canopy is getting a little bit too crowded,” said Debra Nowak, naturalist for 1000 Islands. “We don’t get a lot of sunlight down to the forest floor. We don’t get a lot of regeneration.”

Thinning the canopy won’t yield a new growth of maples and oaks without also culling the deer population, Nowak said.

“If we want some natural regeneration, we have to start controlling the deer herd,” she said. “Otherwise, anything that tries growing is going to get nipped down pretty quick.”

The hunt would be a first for Kaukauna. The center modeled its rules and regulations after Little Chute, which has held successful deer hunts in recent years, Nowak said.

It is open only to licensed hunters who reside or pay taxes in the city of Kaukauna. Thirty qualified hunters will be selected by lottery.

Depending on the success of the culling, a second hunt will be considered after the nine-day gun season in November.

The environmental center also has contracted with a logging company to thin the woods between October and April.

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