PLUM ISLAND — A controlled white-tailed deer hunt has been scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. As an integral part of a comprehensive Refuge Wildlife Management Program, this annual hunt helps maintain the deer population at a level commensurate with the available habitat, while providing recreational opportunities for the hunting public.

The hunt is by refuge permit only, with a maximum of 35 hunters, including up to four paraplegic hunters and 20 standbys, to be selected by public lottery on Friday, Oct, 7, at 4 p.m. at refuge headquarters, 6 Plum Island Turnpike in Newburyport. To apply for a permit, send a single 3-by-5-inch card containing complete name, address, daytime phone number and Massachusetts deer hunting license number to refuge headquarters. To allow for two people to hunt together on the same day, up to two hunters may apply on the same single 3-by-5-inch card, but all the required information must be included on the card for both applicants.

Only one paraplegic hunter is required for a buddy team to qualify for the paraplegic hunt lottery. A paraplegic hunter may also have an assistant who is not allowed to hunt and whose name and other information should not be included on the application. A paraplegic hunter should note "paraplegic" on his/her application card so as to ensure entry into the paraplegic hunt lottery. Only one application is permitted per party. A self-addressed, stamped envelope should be submitted, one for each hunter, with the application.

All applications must be received by close of business on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Successful applicants must attend a one-hour Refuge Hunter Safety & Orientation Program scheduled for the morning of Saturday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. or the makeup orientation on Monday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the refuge headquarters. The lottery winners will be charged a $20 permit fee to participate in the refuge hunt, with the fee reduced to $10 for holders of valid Golden Age or Access Passports.

The hunt zone will consist of approximately 1,400 acres on the Plum Island section of the refuge. To ensure public safety, the entire Plum Island section will be closed to all other activities for the day of the hunt.

For further information, contact refuge headquarters at 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950 or phone 978-465-5753. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

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