Archery season back in action at Fairchild

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Earlandez Young
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Fairchild does not host an archery season every year, however, this year isn't one of those years. Team Fairchild is calling out all hunters for archery season this September.

Archery season started here nearly 10 years ago when base leadership noticed an increase in the deer population.

The Sikes Act, approved in 1960, promotes effectual planning, development, maintenance and coordination of wildlife, fish and game conservation and rehabilitation in military reservations. From this act, Fairchild is allowed to have a hunting season.

"Archery season is one of the few management tools we have to control the population of deer on base," said Steven Selser, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron natural and cultural resources manager and hunter of 25 years. "The season is open for white-tailed and mule deer, which are the only two deer species here."

This season there will be 15 deer that can be stalked on base: five bucks, 3-point or better and 10 antlerless deer of either species. For the first time, hunters are allowed hunting blinds, which are camouflage tents set near bait stations.

"The hunting blinds can be a huge advantage for someone who has little experience in archery hunting," Selser said. "We also have three youth hunters in the program this year who may not be good at stocking animals or aren't as experienced, so these blinds give them the chance to sit calmly in a tent essentially and aim at deer."

The 92nd ARW Safety Office plays one of the most important roles during archery season.

"We require each hunter to qualify for the hunt, by shooting three arrows into an eight inch circle from 30 yards," said Master Sgt. Joseph Pierce, 92nd ARW Flight Safety Superintendent. "Additionally, each hunter must attend a hunter safety meeting before the hunt."

The Wing Safety office manages the Bird (and Wildlife) Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, which seeks to reduce the risk of bird and wildlife strikes to aircraft.

"People may not realize that the purpose of the hunt, beyond providing a benefit to Fairchild Airmen, is to help reduce the deer population on base to prevent them from finding their way onto the runway and causing potential runway incidents," said Lt. Col. Paul Baker, 92nd Air Refueling Wing, chief of safety.

Archery season will end Sept. 28 or when the 15 animals are taken, whichever comes first. For more information contact the natural resources manager at 247-2313 or stop by the 92nd CES environmental flight located in building 2451, Suite 155.

Potential hunters must possess all required Washington State deer hunting licenses and tags in addition to a $10 base-issued permit, which goes directly to the Department of Defense's U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. See: http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01383/wdfw01383.pdf for this year's Washington hunting pamphlet. All hunters must show proof of Washington State license requirements at time of on-base permit purchase.