Home > Newtown, Northampton, Richboro, Slideshow, Tyler State Park > Tyler State Park Deer Hunt: Draws Hunters and Protesters

Tyler State Park Deer Hunt: Draws Hunters and Protesters

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

A group of deer hunting protesters outside Tyler State Park along Swamp Road in Newtown, early Wednesday morning. (Tom Sofield)

Temperatures in the 20’s did not keep 125 hunters and a smaller number of protesters away from Tyler State Park’s 23rd annual shotgun deer hunt Wednesday morning.

The hunt at the 1,700 acre park which lies in the townships of Newtown and Northampton began at 7 a.m. and will last until 3 p.m. when DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) staff expects the parks deer population to be approximately 100 less.

Protesters and hunters began arriving at the Swamp Road entrance to the park around 5 a.m., hunters were picked through a random lottery.

“The protesters continue to be very respectful to the hunters as in past years,“ said Michael Crowley the park manager.

Six protesters braved the cold and windy conditions to stand watch along Swamp Road and hold signs in protest of the hunt as some have done for the past 23 years.

“We are the light in the darkness,” said Linda Michaels, of Northampton who has been protesting the hunt for 23 years, “We are out here to say ‘some body’s standing up for this’.”

Protesters yelled, “sissy” and “coward” at arriving hunters shortly before day break.

“This is a government sponsored killing business,” says Michaels’ who claims the only reason the DCNR holds the yearly hunt is to profit off the selling of hunting licenses. She says she remembers how many deer there were in the park before the hunt and she sees the damage the hunt has caused.

A park ranger sits watching over a entrance to Tyler State Park, which is closed for a deer hunt, in the Richboro section of Northampton Wednesday morning. (Tom Sofield)

Crowley, the park manager, said, “The park loses money on the hunt because we have to pay overtime to employees.”

Crowley also said a reduced deer population in the park helps reduce vehicle vs. deer accidents on busy roads surrounding the park and also helps native vegetation thrive with a lower threat of being eaten by the deer.

One protester said that public safety is a concern with homes and Bucks County Community College’s campus adjoining the park.

“We have taken all safety precautions that are necessary,” said Crowley who noted that in 23 years the only injuries were from hunters who had slipped on ice. Crowley also noted that in accordance with Pennsylvania state law no hunting would be allowed with-in 150 yards of homes.

Longtime deer hunt protester Gerd Meigel, of Levittown said, “This used to be a nice park but the hunting has destroyed the harmony.”

Meigel and Michaels also talked about how the lead in the shot gun pellets poisons the birds and streams.

This morning the park was staffed with 11 DCNR park rangers, 10 game commission officers along with state police and officials from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission who helped block off the parks 12 entrances.

The park will hold a archery hunt in early 2011 which will take place over the course of a few weeks and will not shut down the state park.

Crowley said that Tyler Park will reopen to the public tomorrow.

Tom Sofield (tsofield@buxmontnews.com)
Online Editor

  1. sydellr@verizon.net
    December 10, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    This hunt is not about car deer accidents or saving the wildflowers of Tyler Park.It is about keeping the business of hunting alive.
    The insurance industry’ position is that there are not enough car deer accidents for them to take any action.The Park officials clear paths for the hunters and continually destroy trees,bushes and wildflowers in order to maintain services for people.They do not give the eclogy of the park a second thought.
    The formula used by the game commission is the same used on game preserves-hunting allows more space and more food to enable the remaing does to have multuiple births.
    Hunting is a business.It provides salaries health benefits,pensions to the autonomous game commision.the Tyler Commtittee was unable to obtain a report of the cost of the hunt. If they are losing money,why do they continue the park hunt?
    Is it because it is great advertising?The hunter can stay close to home and was at one time assured of a kill.
    Is their count of the kill accurate? WHO KNOWS? Park offials do not even know how many deer are in the park .At one time they held the community captive to an aerial connt and then when they felt more secure with the hunt declared the count unscientific.

  2. sydellr@verizon.net
    December 10, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    My previos comment was my first to you.it might hve sounded familiar but it was not a duplication.

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