Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tentative Recommendations

The Shelton Deer Committee has a tentative list of recommendations for the final report that will be submitted to the Board of Aldermen.   All recommendations are subject to change:

1. Create a "Deer Management Committee" to implement any recommendations that are approved by the Board of Aldermen (the current Ad Hoc Deer Committee would be disbanded). The Deer Management Committee would work out the logistics and details of the remaining recommendations.

2. Open a small number of suitable City properties to bowhunting by special permit only ("controlled hunt") subject to review by the Conservation Commission and approval by the Board of Aldermen. Applicants for special hunting permits should be subject to background checks, references, and interviews, with preference given to Shelton residents. 

3. Establish rules for controlled hunts regarding where and how the hunts will be carried out, such as the minimum distance from trails or property lines, approval of tree stand locations, days when hunting is allowed, etc.

4. Expand the areas open to hunting over time, subject to review by the Conservation Commission and approval by the Board of Aldermen.

5. Facilitate the creation of a volunteer-lead program to match hunters with property owners, such as the BeSafeRedding and BeSafeNewtown programs.

6. Collect and monitor data related to the abundance and impacts of deer (GIS mapping, deer/vehicle strikes, Lyme cases, deer density, forest health, deer exclosures, etc.)

7. Monitor the effectiveness of professional culling efforts to combat tick-borne illnesses in inland suburban environments, such as the ongoing CDC study in Redding, CT.

8. Conduct public education and outreach (e.g. discouraging deer via landscaping, fencing, deer repellents; conducting daily tick checks; impacts of deer on ecosystems; hunting regulations and safety; feeding of deer; etc. )

The Deer Committee is now working on its draft report to the Board of Aldermen.