The University of the South opens portions of the Domain to hunting every year. The hunt began in 2000, in response to community concern over increasing deer population numbers and the impacts on the community and forest understory. During the last 17 years, over 1600 animals have been safely harvested in and around central campus. The population of deer in Sewanee peaked in 2010 at 145 deer per square mile, approximately six times the herd density recommended by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The 2016 deer census numbers estimated a population density of approximately 30 deer per square mile in hunted areas, with higher densities remaining in other areas. The goals of the hunt are to reduce the total density of white-tailed deer on the Domain to approximately 25 deer per square mile, with a balanced sex ratio of one buck per doe. In order to better achieve these goals, the university hunt has harvest restrictions and quotas that are more stringent than those issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for our area. For particular rules of the hunt, please see the Rules of Intown Hunt 2018. For details on why and how deer are managed on the domain, see the White tailed deer management plan 2016.
This invitation only hunt is open to all approved University faculty and staff, as well as their direct relatives (spouses, adult children, and parents). The hunt is also open to approved students. All participants must complete the Tennessee Bowhunter Safety Course (or other state equivalent), undergo a background check by the Sewanee Police Department, and participate in all mandatory meetings. All hunters are required to possess valid TN hunting license and follow all TWRA rules and regulations at all times. You can find a map for hunters here: Deer Cull Map Christmas Hunters