Deer Hunting Information
In New England, white-tailed deer populations were historically kept in check by predators such as wolves and mountain lions. However, as the population of these predators declined due to pressures like hunting and development, deer populations began to rise beyond sustainable levels. Although coyotes are still well established in the area, their presence is not enough to restore the current ecological imbalance between predator and prey populations. The resulting overabundance of white-tailed deer in Andover is now severely impacting habitats for native plants and animals due to heavy browse in the forest understory. According to Mass Audubon, some of the ecological impacts of deer overabundance include:
- The thinning of shrubs and groundcover, which removes plants that are necessary for the habitat of insects and nesting birds. Several bird species that nest in the lower reaches of forests are now declining in Massachusetts.
- Reduced biodiversity of native plants and shrubs. Deer prefer to eat native species, leaving behind only a few that are resistant to browse and enabling the spread of invasive plants. A less-diverse forest is more vulnerable to stresses such as climate change.
- The loss of tree seedlings and saplings that would become the next generation of canopy trees. Without seedling and sapling trees, large trees that are periodically lost to age and storms will not be replaced, which slowly diminishes the health of our forests.
By allowing bow hunting on some of our properties, we hope to help restore the ecological balance of our forests and protect the plants and animals that are being significantly impacted by deer overabundance.
Applications for the 2023 Bow Hunting Season are CLOSED and will no longer be accepted.
The lottery for out-of-town applications has been completed and you will be notified by April 1, 2023 if you were chosen. If you are not contacted by our Hunt Coordinator, you were not chosen for the 2023 Deer Hunt.
Reminder: Deer stands removed by February 1st. Any deer stands left may be confiscated.
Bow Hunting Season for deer only is open October 2, 2023 through December 31,2023 with a permit from the Town, on Town owned land listed on the Maps only or AVIS Property listed below only and not shown on the Maps.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
|Bald Hill / Wood Hill Reservation & Haggett's Pond|
|Bellevue Reservation||Portable stands only (none to be left unattended)|
|Fish Brook North Reservation||Also known as Fish Brook North - Bolian Reservation|
|Foster's Island Reservation|
|Fosters Pond||Hunting not allowed on the adjacent Fosters Pond Association land or the AVIS Goldsmith Reservation|
|Jenkins Quarry Reservation||Resident-only hunting, portable stands only (none to be left unattended)|
|Lightning Tree Reservation||Off South Street in Tewksbury, around the solar farm|
|Pole Hill Reservation||Resident - only hunting.|
|Pustell Reservation||Resident-only hunting, portable stands only (none to be left unattended)|
|Retelle Reservation||Also known as Al Retelle/Brundrette Reservation - Shelakis Farm|
|Serio's Grove Reservation||Resident-only hunting, weekdays only, portable stands only (none to be left unattended)|
|Virginia Hammond Reservation|
|Behrakis Reservation||Adjacent to Spalding Reservation|
|Deer Jump Reservation||Link||-Between Launching Road and Fish Brook and only directly next to the Spaulding Reservation
-Tewskbury End Bordering The Behrakis and Spalding Reservations only.
|Hammond Reservation||Link||Portable stands only (none to be left unattended)|
|Harold Rafton Reservation||Link||Must be 1000' away from the school building. Creek Bed is the boundary.|
|Nat Smith Reservation||Link|
|Peggy Keck Reservation||Link|
|Skug River Reservation||Link|
|Wilkinson Reservation||Link||Resident-only hunting, portable stands only (none to be left unattended).|