Portions of Duke Forest to Close Weekdays for Hunting

Hunting is part of forest's annual deer management program

DURHAM, N.C. -- As part of its annual deer management program, Duke Forest, in coordination with the state Wildlife Resources Commission, will close three of its divisions during weekdays through the fall for hunting.

The Durham, Korstian and Blackwood divisions of the forest will be closed to all public access Monday to Friday from Sept. 25 to Dec. 15. All divisions of the forest will be open on Saturdays and Sundays and on Nov. 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving. The Edeburn (formerly Eno), Hillsboro and Dailey divisions are not part of this program and will remain open throughout the fall.

Hunting is conducted by two pre-selected groups; it is not open to the general public.

Results from the 2017 deer population survey showed a dramatic increase in total deer spotted when compared to the previous six years. While many factors contribute to inter-annual variation, the spike suggests that hunting remains necessary to reduce the negative impacts caused by overabundant deer on the forest, said Sara Childs, director of Duke Forest.

This is the 10th hunting season for Duke Forest. During the season, signs will be posted at all gated entrances to the forest and staff will issue citations to any unauthorized visitors.

The Durham and Korstian divisions will be hunted with bow and arrow only while the Blackwood Division will have both bow and gun hunting. For safety reasons, visitors need to observe all posted signs and seek alternate locations for recreation.

Duke community members with upcoming or ongoing work in the forest should contact Duke Forest staff to discuss arrangements. Staff can be contacted by phone at (919) 613-8013 or email at dukeforest@duke.edu.