HSVPOA Common Property, Forest, and Wildlife Committee Chair Scott McCord gave an update on November 16, 2022, to the Hot Springs Village POA regarding committee activities.

McCord said that currently, the committee has six active members with one vacancy.

The CPFWC has three distinct areas of focus.

1. Common property – This focus consists of a review of permit applications. When a property owner wants to clear trees or clean up common property, a permit is applied for, and the committee makes a recommendation.

2. Forest – This focus consists of forest management. With several foresters on the committee, Noles considers the committee’s input on all matters related to forestry management. McCord said he wants to complement Todd Noles. Noles identified Green Bay Packaging as a company that is willing to work with him regarding the management of the forest (thinning of trees). Green Bay Packaging will work on tree thinning in a test area at no cost to the POA. The company only requires a short cancellation notice if Noles determines that he is not happy with their work. All work done by Green Bay Packaging will be directed by HSVPOA staff, and nothing will be done without staff approval.

3. Wildlife – This focus is primarily on the Urban Deer Hunt and controlling the Canada Geese population with egg addling. At the time of McCord’s report, 230 deer have been harvested, with 120 going to Hunters Feeding the Hungry (HFTH). HSV is a significant contributor of meat to HFTH.

Next year we are going to manage the Urban Deer Hunt ourselves, and the committee is in the process of preparing a formalized plan. This plan is subject to staff review and approval. McCord said, “It looks like it will go forward.”

Previously, the Arkansas Bow Hunters Association handled the qualification process. It takes about 20 to 25 people to conduct the Urban Deer Hunt Orientation process.

Mark Quinton of the HSV Archery Club will be responsible for conducting the qualification part of the orientation.

Next year the plan is only to allow property owners and all Garland and Saline County first responders. Everyone will be allowed one guest each.

It is believed this new process will result in a more orderly hunt. McCord enthused, “it is yet to be determined how successful it will be in terms of the harvest. We think it will be good!”

There are 380 registered hunters this year.

McCord said, “The outside hunters, I believe, and a lot of people would have the same thought…they like the Urban Deer Hunt because it starts September 1. Normal deer season doesn’t start until the end of September. That allows them to get their juices flowing. Deer hunters are a breed of their own, and they like the sport…I believe that the outside hunters come here to hunt the first month and then go elsewhere, and there is very little [hunting activity from them in the Village] after that.”

The goal for the harvest is 500, and this will remain the same next year.

Last year we harvested 380. When you consider car-deer accidents, poaching, and those deer eaten by coyotes, we think we easily reached the goal of 500 shared McCord.

We are trying to keep up with the birth rate.

The purpose of the Urban Deer Hunt is to keep the deer under control and healthy in a safe manner.

Public Services Director Ken Unger said that historically, the Hunt has been promoted as a game opportunity. Next year it will be promoted as a harvesting requirement. With so many hunters, the deer go into hiding, and we may be able to harvest more deer with fewer people next year.

We want quality hunters that are here to take out deer to keep the herd healthy and to manage it and not here for the big racks explained Unger. First responders are responsible people and will help us thin the herd.

There is a lot of quality deer in the Village, and it is thought that making the HSV Urban Deer Hunt only for property owners, first responders, and their guests might motivate hunters to buy lots for deer hunting.

McCord assured, “we have not burnt a bridge with the Arkansas Bowhunters Association if we want to go back to ABA [in the future].”

Report by Cheryl Dowden