Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The Rumor Mill
Here's the rumor: Shelton supposedly has had several talks with White Buffalo and is ready to hire them to cull the deer population. Also, something about a conspiracy between White Buffalo, the DEEP, the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Stations, and various people involved with deer management. The rumor appears to be getting passed along by hunters who are opposed to the CDC-funded study on integrated tick management in Redding (that study involves sharpshooting by White Buffalo in specific test plots).
Here's the truth: The City of Shelton has not talked with anyone from White Buffalo about culling deer in Shelton. Also, it is extremely unlikely that the Deer Committee would recommend sharpshooting any time soon.
The Deer Committee is in a fact-finding stage. We have had a series of guest speakers with great experience and expertise (see our minutes). The topic of sharpshooting has been discussed, but not within the context of Shelton actually hiring sharpshooters. It is much more likely that the Committee will recommend an incremental approach to deer management, starting with opening a small number of city open space properties to bow hunting.
It's also important to note that the Deer Committee is advisory only and has no authority to implement any sort of deer control. The Committee was created with the goal of exploring the deer issue and drafting a report to the Board of Aldermen with recommendation, and that is all it is authorized to do.
[Update June 2014: The rumor is now that Shelton has received a grant to start sharpshooting deer. This is completely false. No committee member has voiced any support to start sharpshooting, and there are no grants even available for such a thing that we know of. The "Redding grant" often referenced by hunters was not a grant to the municipality as many hunters are asserting. Rather, it was from the CDC for a study conducted by Kirby Stafford of the CT Agricultural Experiment Station. The study involves sharpshooting as well as pesticide approaches that are less toxic than those currently in use.]