published Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Hunting begins at Enterprise South Nature Park despite objections

Glenn Feezell, left, waits next to his truck as officers Joseph McSpaden, center, and Ben Layton, right, weigh and age Feezell's kill during a two day TWRA bow hunt at Enterprise South Nature Park early Monday morning. The hunt is being held to help control wildlife population as well as open the park to archers.
Glenn Feezell, left, waits next to his truck as officers Joseph McSpaden, center, and Ben Layton, right, weigh and age Feezell's kill during a two day TWRA bow hunt at Enterprise South Nature Park early Monday morning. The hunt is being held to help control wildlife population as well as open the park to archers.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news
Poll
Should deer hunting be allowed at Enterprise South?
  • Yes. 68%
  • No. 32%

981 total votes.

WHAT'S NEXT

Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Hamilton County Commission Committee to consider whether to continue hunts

Oct. 24-25: Second TWRA quota hunt

  • photo
    Officer Ben Layton checks the age of a 3 1/2 year old doe during a two day TWRA bow hunt at Enterprise South Nature Park early Monday morning. The hunt is being held to help control wildlife population as well as open the park to archers.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Brayton Bird loads his tree stand back into the truck after weighing in a 2 1/2 year old doe that he shot during the TWRA bow hunt at Enterprise South Nature Park early Monday morning. Bird was the first one to claim a kill during the two day hunt which is being held to help control wildlife population as well as open the park to archers.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Steve Leach, Chattanooga Public Works Administrator.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Fred Fuson explains the details of a two day TWRA bow hunt at Enterprise South Nature Park early Monday morning. The hunt is being held to help control wildlife population as well as open the park to archers.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A mountain biker made a U-turn at a "Park Closed" sign Monday morning at the gate to Enterprise South Nature Park.

Nearby, a high school junior chosen for a two-day hunt on the property field-dressed a deer he killed with a compound bow.

A group that sought to cancel the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency quota hunt at the nature park Monday and today would describe events near the gate Monday as a clash of stakeholders.

But the city, county and TWRA say the hunts are necessary to reduce deer overpopulation and improve the overall health of the park's wildlife.

Robert Greene, 34, a mountain biker from Harrison, showed up around 9 a.m. to ride the nature park's trails, but a park ranger turned him away after telling him about the hunt.

"I have no problem with them doing something like this," Greene said. "I just wish I knew about it before I drove all the way over here."

Before 10 a.m., 16-year-old Brayton Bird, of Cleveland, one of 80 hunters drawn for this week's hunt, dragged the first deer out of the woods, a doe that he took to a station where it was weighed and tagged.

At the station, TWRA game biologist Ben Layton asked if he could cut the deer's cheek to determine her age. Bird's deer was estimated to be 2 1/2 years old.

Layton took note of where hunters killed deer and kept up with the animals' weights and health, factors that enter into his annual determination of whether to hold hunts and when, he said.

Determining the deer herd's health is one of the most-important jobs. Low weight, for instance, can be a signal of an unhealthy population, he said.

The average weight of a field-dressed yearling doe from last year's hunt was 72 pounds. Minus her entrails, Bird's doe weighed 57 pounds. She'll make a good roast, he said.

"I may get back in the woods to get a buck," said the Walker Valley High School junior, who joined his father and younger brother in the woods. "Mom said only one day off school."

Hunters are allowed to kill two deer, but the first must be a doe to aid in the population-control objective, Layton said.

Attorney Diane Dixon's group sought to cancel the event. Dixon sent a letter to Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, County Commissioner Greg Beck and County Attorney Rheubin Taylor, asking that the hunt be stopped.

"The new park is enjoying so much success and citizens feel such a sense of ownership and connection with its ecosystem and amenities that it is appalling to think of allowing the hunts to continue as they have in the past, unless proven necessary to serve the interest of preservation of the ecosystem," her letter states.

But a City of Chattanooga official said the decision by the city, TWRA and Hamilton County to close the park for two population-control hunts is necessary for proper park management. Steve Leach, Public Works administrator, said the forests, wildlife and competing recreational uses must all be managed carefully.

"It's just a beautiful place to be, but you have to manage it," he said. "It's just got all of these components, and it's right beside a factory."

What's now the new Volkswagen auto assembly plant used to be the deers' prime grazing field, Park Ranger Fred Fuson said.

So now "you've got more deer trying to compete for less," he said.

The city and county opted to limit the two October hunts to archery and to hold them on Mondays and Tuesdays to reduce the impact on park users, Leach said. About 2,000 residents use the park each week, and county records show the fewest numbers come early in the week, Fuson said.

The land that makes up the nature park was formerly the Volunteer Army Ammunition site, where TNT was manufactured between 1942 and 1977. The U.S. Army requested that TWRA begin population-control hunts there as early as 1978, Layton said.

The park opened at 5 a.m. and Layton estimated about 50 hunters showed up Monday by first light.

Hunter Glenn Feezell, 67, arrived at 5:17 a.m. from Loudon, Tenn., who said he first hunted on Enterprise South when it was still the "TNT Hunt."

Connect with the Times Free Press on Facebook

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

27
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Justreading said...

Believe it or not you nature hippies, hunters have rights too.

October 11, 2011 at 12:49 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Wow, pictures of food while it still looks like an animal... that'll get the salad-shooters all riled up.

While I do greatly appreciate that hunting will be allowed at the site, I questions the purpose of this story and its inclusion of pictures that most non-hunters will expectantly find difficult to view.

October 11, 2011 at 7:52 a.m.
headcoconut said...

Anyone who would murder bambi for sport, or even food, won't hesitate to kill humans for the same. Even food if the economy continues on its tragic decline. Remember, early English settlers did in fact practice cannablism in American colonies.

Hunters should be chalked right up there with the rest of miscreants who prey on society.

They're all ___*DISGUSTING!*_

October 11, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.
catsbackr said...

As a lifelong member of PETA, you all know PETA..

P...people E...eating T...tasty A...animals

I highly approve of these hunts!

October 11, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
RiverBuck1 said...

headcoconut said...

Anyone who would murder bambi for sport, or even food, won't hesitate to kill humans for the same.

That is the most OUTRAGEOUS statement I have ever heard in my life!! That makes me laugh uncontrollably! For some people hunting is a family tradition and memories that last a life time!! Then we go eat our family!! yumm!! LOL Unbelievable !

October 11, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.
GatorFan said...

headcoconut is an uneducated moron, plain and simple. I would rather kill and prepare my own meal, then have it processed at some unsanitary meat packaging plant. There's nothing wrong with hunting. It's been going on since the dawn of man.

October 11, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.
Shock said...

I think headcoconut's post was a troll. It had to be, unless someone hasn't been taking their crazy pills. . .

And speaking of, I love Libertarian's leaps of logic. Apparently, if this deer hunt hadn't been allowed to happen (which I do support) we would all have to walk the streets of Chattanooga in trepidation, alert for emboldened bears and mountain lions leaping out of alleyways at us. Not to mention our collective shame from other southern cities regarding us as the worst possible thing on the planet - female genitalia.

You must be a big hit with the ladies, Libertarian.

October 11, 2011 at 1:02 p.m.
DeerSlayer said...

Nothing gets under my skin more that PETA supporters and animal loving hippies! Like a previous poster said God made man ruler over animals. I don't know any hunters personally that just kill animals for pure sport, all the ones I hunt with and know hunt to feed their families. And like another poster said most of these idiots complaining don't know much about nature theirselves. Hunters enjoy the outdoors and just because these people are to big of sissy's to gather their own food they complain. MEN are natural born hunters and providers. It's in our blood. I'll be hunting every weekend this winter starting Thursday in Cohutta wilderness area in Georgia. My family uses the deer meat for lots of meals look forward to a bountiful harvest this year. Headcoconut your an idiot, get in church! I hope you really don't believe what you said and I bet you enjoy meat as long as its from the grocery store, let me let you in on a seceret, meat from the grocery store generally involves grusome deaths of the animals.

October 11, 2011 at 1:14 p.m.
Shock said...

Libertarian: Wow - just wow. I hope the TFP doesn't ever take that comment down.

I did respond to the only poster who protested hunting (crazy pills, remember?). I also took issue with your ill constructed argument and vulgarity.

October 11, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
Shock said...

Dang it, they removed it.

October 11, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
dao1980 said...

What's up TFP? You'll remove that hilariously ridiculous post by Lib4F, but you can't seem to make it to this one?

http://www.timesfreepress.com/users/dao1980/

It was quite funny when the poster 48hours was still around to tease, but you deleted him for excessive profanity and left his trash on my profile.

Censor with consistency, of don't censor at all... right?

October 11, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.
XGSBoss said...

I might find religion if L4F was banned for life somehow. Too bad I missed his witticism above.

October 11, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.
LibDem said...

(In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a vegetarian.)

This is perfect. Take away their grazing, then kill them for being hungry.

It's true that Man evolved as a meat eating hunter. A few weeks ago, I flew to Minneapolis. Thank Dog, I evolved wings and feathers (and didn't look too hungry).

October 11, 2011 at 2:35 p.m.
headcoconut said...

They all should be charged with cruelty to animals!

Remember: Anything that bleeds feel pain!

October 11, 2011 at 3:12 p.m.
DeerSlayer said...

headcoconut said... They all should be charged with cruelty to animals!

Remember: Anything that bleeds feel pain!

Stop caring so much about animals and care more about humans. The world would be a better place if people like you channeled their energy into the human race instead of fighting for animal rights. Get a life!

October 11, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.
ahannityclone said...

To begin with, I am amazed at the sheer beauty of deer, turkey, Eastern Bluebirds and just about every other lifeform that coexists with us each day, and most of us hunters are this way, and have been raised this way for generations—we take only what we need, we replace and we leave nature as good, or better than we found it. It is for that reason that I also hunt. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of us hunt as a means to help provide for our families, but we also do it to protect the well being of certain wildlife—deer being one of those. Such as the case with this nature preserve and these four day hunts. I do understand the argument you people that disagree with the need for this hunt, and for hunting in general, are making. However, the majority of you do not understand how herd dynamics as far as age and gender structure, habitat capabilities and health risks affect an overall deer herd. What happens when an area is overpopulated and there is not enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle amoung the inhabitants within that ecosystem and how does that health affect the health of other species within that ecosystem—don't believe me, Africa is a classic example of an over-populated area with not enough food to sustain its inhabitants. An area like Enterprise South has the ability to sustain 15-20 deer per square mile with a buck/doe ratio of 2 to 1—and that is for the most part the baseline for the Whitetail species. If hunting is eliminated, then the population will increase at a fairly dramatic because deer are actually quite prolific reproducers—the average doe will have 2 fawns per year in a healthy population. Once that population reaches a certain level of habitat sustainability then the deer start eating the same plants and they increase the chance of spreading mouth-mouth spread diseases amoung each other and potentially to other forms of life. Diseases such as EHD, CWD and other forms of spongiform encephalopathies actually do have the potential, albeit minimal, to be passed onto to humans according to scientists and new research. Not to mention the deer that will leave the area in search for food in highly populated urban areas where their chance of death by automobile accidents or other urban activity greatly increases. All of that being said, once again I do understand the argument, but I fail to see the logic, or any scientific data in the argument—I only am seeing emotional based reasoning, which has been proven ineffective at managing anything over the years.

October 11, 2011 at 5:02 p.m.
BOOBOO99 said...

I cant believe they are teaching kids to slaughter animals...A parent who lets their kids murder animals are sick. What they gonna do next kill monkeys stray dogs cat...They turn this park into an hunting zone...I will never goto to this park again ..City officals should fired for allowing cruelty to animals and the stupid parents who let their kids do these killings dont really love their kids.. No wonder theirs a lot of shooting and murders in chattanooga they are teaching their kids to practice on animals before they start killing humans.. SICK PEOPLE

October 11, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.
ahannityclone said...

Also I need to direct a few things. LibDem, you stated "This is perfect. Take away their grazing, then kill them for being hungry.", actually that is much further from the truth than you could imagine. Right now the herd is doing good, and is in sound health—in other words, they are not hungry. By managing the herd, we as hunters are able to remove a certain number of mouths from the table, so to speak, so no member has to be "hungry" as you stated. You must understand that deer are one of the few species in North America, and especially in this region, that does not have any natural predators to keep the herd balanced.

headcoconut, I have thought long and hard about should I respond to you, or not. With all of you comments, I really hope that you use no animal products at all (most soaps) and are a strict vegetarian. At least LibDem has the courage to come out and admit it! Actually there coconut, it has been proven that plants do have a mechanism to react to injury, so do they feel pain as well? What are you going to eat now, because I know you don't want to be called a hypocrite. In response to this statement of yours, "Anyone who would murder bambi for sport, or even food, won't hesitate to kill humans for the same. Even food if the economy continues on its tragic decline. Remember, early English settlers did in fact practice cannablism in American colonies." Question, why would I have the need to kill another human for food, or for their food, if I have all of the food I need because I hunt and fish? That is just an example of how little thought and reasoning you have placed in all of your posts—they are nothing more than random bloviating. I want you to back that entire statement up and qualify it. Warning I do hold a degree in History and I will call you out on any irregularities within your response—let us see if your as educated as you claim to be, or desire to be.

October 11, 2011 at 5:23 p.m.
LibDem said...

ahannityclone, I can't argue with your comments nor can I speak for others who are opposed to hunting. I understand that death at the hands of a hunter is more humane than the teeth of wolves. Wolves are a natural enemy that keeps deer alert and healthy albeit with little compassion. I use this deer hunting as an expression of my dismay that we alter the environment with no consideration for others who occupy our planet (not to mention humans).

October 11, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.
Salsa said...

I hear the cries of the carrots! Support People For the Ethical Treatment of Plants!

October 11, 2011 at 7:33 p.m.
ahannityclone said...

LibDem, believe it or not, we are closer together in our beliefs than we are apart on this issue, and it is like that for many, many hunters also—our number one goal is to preserve nature. I agree and do not like that all of the natural habit is being slowly altered, changed and gone forever because of our human greed and belief in superiority over the enviroment in our effort to increase our own comforts and lifestyle demands. On a side informational note in case it comes up again for you in the future, the range of the wolf is almost exclusive to Canada and Alaska—our climate is to warm for them to be down here. Although, there is a wolf re-introduction program trying to place out west in the mountains, which many are arguing the percieved benefits to the enviroment in doing so and the wolves ability to live, we do not have to worry about them here—thank goodness! The Red Wolf is the only one that has been able to survive down here, and the last report of their existence was in 1905.

October 11, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
LibDem said...

ahannityclone, Thanks for the info on wolves. I tend to use them as generic predators, but it's obviously not a credible choice. (You probably won't let me get away with packs of wild beagles, right?)

Thanks again.

October 12, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.