It’s open season for hunters at Presque Isle State Park.

Thursday was the last day of a combined antlered and antlerless deer hunt at the peninsula.

The hunt helps the park with maintaining a healthy number of deer within the ecosystem. When there are too many deer, degradation of the park habitat can happen.

It’s open hunting season at Presque Isle State Park to help regulate the deer population. The two-day special event allows guns out on the park and up to 85 hunters.

“We did kind of have a large boom on deer here back in the day and it caused a lot of damage to the ecosystem and the environment. We also had a lot of deer strikes into cars when we had visitors visiting the park,” said Holly Best, assistant park manager, Presque Isle State Park. 

She says they average about eight deer killed per season. For many, hunting is a past time and a tradition, and they come here year after year.

“We have the same hunters over and over again which is really nice. They have a really good understanding of our special rules and regulations and how to hunt on the park, how to work within the park, rules and regulations, and they have a really strong appreciation for what we are doing and why we are doing it as a management hunt,” said Best.

One of those hunters that come year after year is Bob Zawadzki. He says Presque Isle offers every type of hunting venue that you could ask for.

“Water, roads, swamp. We start at Lake Erie, then you go through some sand, and then you hit highway, then you hit swamp, then you hit woods that are as thick as Allegheny National Forest, and all in 1,000 yards. That is what’s unique about it,” said Bob Zawadzki, local hunter.

Presque Isle State Park reports four deer were harvested Thursday.