Chair of the Common Property, Forestry, and Wildlife Committee (CPFWC), Scott McCord, presented a quarterly report to the HSVPOA Board of Directors at the June 15, 2022 Board Meeting. McCord mainly focused on deer and geese in his presentation.
McCord said the committee is fully staffed with seven members. Board Director, Tucker Omohundro, is the liaison to the committee and HSVPOA Assistant Superintendent, Todd Noles is the staff member.
The CPFWC has three primary areas of focus with a subcommittee for each area:
McCord said, “Today I am going to zoom in on the wildlife portion of our responsibility. Let’s talk about deer and geese.”
“Our population of geese has grown to an estimated 300 geese and growing. We do our best to try to control that population, but it is a challenge…If our estimate of 300 geese is correct” – a goose will defecate every 20 minutes 1 with1/2 to 2 pounds of feces a day from each goose. With an estimate of 300 geese, this means 13,700 pounds of feces in our lakes or on our golf courses. “They may be responsible for the E Coli that we had at Lake DeSoto over Memorial Day weekend. “
“Geese are protected by federal law. There are only certain things you can do to control them. One of which is to addle the eggs. This means that you oil the shell with corn oil to prevent the embryo from developing. The mother is fooled. She sits on the nest thinking she is going to hatch the eggs. They don’t hatch and then it becomes too late to lay another clutch.”
“Our challenge is locating the nests,” stated McCord. This year we are going to solicit input from Property Owners on identifying the location of nests.
“We also have a population issue with deer.” Several years back the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) conducted a survey and estimated we had about 2,000 deer in the Village while only having enough forage to keep a herd of 900 to 1000 deer fed and healthy.” Recently, AGFC had a survey and the deer population is estimated to be 3,000.
If we have a herd of 2,000, in order to keep this population static, we must harvest 500 deer a year. A population of 3,000 deer means 750 deer must be harvested in order to keep the population level.
The best method we have of controlling the deer population is with the Urban Deer Hunt. This hunt is coordinated with AGFC, the POA, CPFWC, the Fire Department, Police Department, AR Bow Hunters Association and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. “It is a big deal and quite a coordination,” stated McCord.
The 2022 Urban Deer Hunt Orientation is scheduled for July 23. In order to qualify for the hunt, you must pass a field day.
The hunt this year runs from September 1 to February 28, which is a month longer than last year and is consistent with the other six Urban Deer Hunts in Arkansas.
McCord thinks that next year we will transition to the POA running the hunt instead of the AR Bow Hunters. This should generate around $16,000.
Hot Springs Village donates more deer to Hunters Feeding the Hungry than all of the other six AR Urban Deer Hunts, times two.