— Mark Harper, contributed photo
October 9, 2018 — On October 4, the Board of Selectmen authorized Animal Control Officer Mark Harper to conduct a deer hunt from October through January 31 on select Town properties. The intent is to reduce the deer population by a maximum of 20.
Mr. Harper is primarily concerned about the profusion of ticks, which are carried by deer and white footed mice. His concern is heightened by the appearance in Connecticut of two ticks new to the state, the lone star tick and the Asian longhorned tick. Both can transmit several diseases to humans.
The longhorned tick is particularly worrisome. Females can reproduce very quickly, without contact with males. One disease it carries, Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus (SFTSV), is lethal.
Only bow hunting will be allowed, and will be carried out by licensed hunters, who must obtain a letter of authorization signed by the First Selectman or Town Administrator. Hunters must sign a document indemnifying and holding harmless the Town. They may be required to hold liability insurance, if the town’s insurer requires it.
Up to 13 hunters will be authorized, and the total number of deer to be taken will be limited to 20. Mr. Harper will assign times and locations for each hunter, and will supervise them. Similar hunts in previous years have been free of incidents.
Hunting will occur at the Transfer Station, a portion of Lachat Town Farm, the Moore Property, the Fromson-Strassler property, and an unreachable portion of Bisceglie Park on the northwest side.
Hunting will not be allowed within 100 yards of a property line. Bright red signs will be posted while a hunt is in progress. Adjacent landowners will receive a certified letter with notice before the hunt.