Special Deer, Hog Hunt Proposed on Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to allow a quota deer hunt which will include unlimited take of feral hogs on about 6,000 acres on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Fla.

Florida DeerThe public is invited to comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment of the proposed hunt. Comments received from the public scoping meeting on July 8, 2013, and the three-week comment period in July were incorporated into the Draft Environmental Assessment. This is another opportunity for the public to comment before the Final Environmental Assessment is developed.

The document can be accessed at this website and hard copies are available at the Merritt Island NWR headquarters on SR 402, Titusville, FL 32796.

Comments must be received by Oct. 21, 2013, to be included in the Final EA and Upland Hunt Plan for the Merritt Island NWR. The public may submit comments via mail: Merritt Island NWR, Attn: Upland Hunt, P.O. Box 2683, Titusville, FL, 32781, or via e-mail to:
merrittisland@fws.gov.

The hunt area being proposed is north of Haulover canal on both sides of
State Road 3 within the refuge boundary. While waterfowl hunting has been
a traditional use on the refuge since the 1960’s, the proposal expands the
hunting program to include deer and feral hogs.

Feral hogs are a nuisance, invasive species on the refuge causing damage to roads, dikes, and trails and occasionally destroying sea turtle nests. Wildlife vehicle strikes are
common along major roads on the refuge and half of strikes involve feral hogs. The proposed hunt will not eradicate or control feral hog populations, but will remove some animals and possibly lessen the amount of damage and vehicle strikes.

COMMENT