Big Buck Project put on hold

Published 2:07 pm Monday, December 10, 2012

As of Friday, the Big Buck Project’s deer releasing has been put on hold.

Alabama Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. signed a regulation to prohibit the release of captive-raised deer into the wild, which is what the Big Buck Project was doing in Marengo County.

The project’s main sponsor, Hale Smith, said he supports the decision of the Department of Conservation.

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“We support them to protect our natural resources,” Smith said, “and specifically our deer. The Conservation Commissioner would rather the advisory board look at the process further to make sure it is safe for the deer. He put a 120-day moratorium on releasing deer into the free range to give the board time to look it over.”

Smith added that he is “unsure about why they stopped us from putting them in free range and not high fence enclosures,” and that he doesn’t know if the deer being in the high-fence areas stops the spreading of diseases.

Smith said the Big Buck Project will carry on and continue to promote their message, which is provide landowners and hunters with information to help enhance the deer herd on their property.

He also said he is interested to see how the board will see it when they make their decision because some states allow these releases and some others do not.

“We want to do everything we can to try to keep hunters in Alabama,” Smith said, “and to do that, we need to keep the big bucks in Alabama. The money goes where the big bucks are.”