October 31, 2018
The Nature Conservancy will hold its annual controlled deer hunt at Devil’s Den Preserve during the state-designated shotgun and rifle hunting season for private lands.
The hunt will take place on the following weekdays only: Nov. 14-15 (Wednesday, Thursday); Nov. 19- 21 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday); Nov. 26-Nov. 29 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday); and Dec. 3, 4 (Monday, Tuesday).
Devil’s Den will be closed to visitors on these days, and signs will be posted at all public entrances to the preserve. The Conservancy provides this information so that residents and their families, guests and tenants can make plans to refrain from visiting the preserve on these days.
The deer management effort will only take place in select areas of the preserve’s interior, away from the edges of the preserve and any neighboring properties. The Conservancy is working with experienced hunters who have been recruited by Devil’s Den staff and have knowledge of the preserve and local area.
The purpose of the controlled hunt, which has been held each fall since 2001, is to improve and maintain forest health by reducing the deer population. In recent decades, the high density of deer in southwestern Connecticut and associated ovebrowsing have caused ecological damage in the region’s forests, harming the understory, limiting tree regeneration and contributing to the gradual loss of native flowering plants.
The annual hunt, in combination with additional restoration efforts conducted by The Nature Conservancy and other conservation organizations contribute to improving and maintaining the ecological condition of forests in this region.