Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hunting Season is Here

Hunting Season is Here

I spent my summer at Assateague Island National Seashore. Unlike many parks, Assateague Island has recreational hunting for park visitors. I was able to learn more about the hunting program and hunting procedures during my summer internship. For my conservation project, I helped Ranger Ian Morton prepare for the hunt season, which is now here. For my project, I researched the Maryland state hunting regulations and applied them to the new hunt plan for Assateague. I then hiked out to all the hunting areas and blinds and took photographs, GPS coordinates, and performed trail maintenance along the way. This was an amazing way to get to know all areas of the island and find some of the hidden beauties within the marsh. I also learned a lot about the hunting culture, firearm safety and hunting regulations from Chief Ranger Walt West. While I was working on my hunting project a sika deer, a non-native elk species, unfortunately got hit by a car. Chief West used this event to teach me how to age a sika deer and examine a hunt kill just like a Ranger would have to do during the hunt season. I am not a hunter so it was great opportunity to expand my knowledge and get familiar with a new subject. I gained a new appreciation for hunting and for the marsh, thank you Assateague!

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