Terrorist attacks leave mark on deer season

By Kathy Helms-Hughes


   The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have left their mark on the airline industry, the economy, and yes, even deer season.
   Area hunters looking forward to marching inside the gates of Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport this year with rifles drawn and an eye on "Bambi" will be disappointed.
   After attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon caused federal agencies such as HAAP to be put on high alert, the operation was forced to cancel its annual hunt.
   But while the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in West Tennessee is cranking out a new order for $16.4 million worth of machine gun rounds, the Kingsport facility is cranking out a healthy deer population for next year.
   Bruce Cole, manager of Holston's natural resources department, said Tuesday, "We actually were due to have our first hunt this past weekend. The rest of them were set to occur the first couple to three weeks in November."
   Unfortunately, the hunt is now canceled for the rest of the year.
   "Basically what we did with the hunters this year, the guys that were drawn, we're just flopping those forward to next year," Cole said.
   "We'll have a whole age class of bucks that won't even be pressured this year, so it should be really good next year."
   Reminded that the U.S. war on terrorism could be a sustained activity, stretching on for years, Cole said, "We keep saying we're going to do this next year -- you assume things are going to get back to normal, but we'll just have to wait and see."
   Cole said the deer population is doing well. "Management-wise, we're just about where we wanted to be."
   Tony Hewett, public information officer for the Kingsport facility, said Holston Army Ammunition is where it was a couple of weeks ago in terms of security measures.
   "We're keeping our eyes open. Our state of alertness is high," he said. "Other than that, it's business as usual."