Letter: Town should slow down pace of the deer hunt
To the Editor:
I went to the Ridgefield Deer Hunt meeting Monday night to simply state that during the last hunt southwest Ridgefield we had three arrows in our back yard, and thus, the hunters need to stay well within the borders for approved town parcels. I ended up learning some important things.
It’s not really a hunt. The deer are baited and then killed — not very sportsmanlike — more of an extermination.
There were an estimated 75 deer per square mile when Ridgefield voted to allow the hunt 10 years ago. The state of Connecticut DEEP (which generates money from the hunt) estimates 43 based upon a fly-over and then doubling the number (and the last fly-over was 2010) — doesn’t sound too scientific. The state biologist not only comes up with the “official figure” — he joins the Ridgefield hunt. His numbers are disputed by the Yale School of Forestry. Hunt Master Zandri estimates 20.
So what is our goal? Do we have one? The selectmen keep voting to continue the culling. This year there will be hunting on 15 parcels of open space. Seeing deer in Ridgefield is becoming a rarity. Many say they miss seeing them. Does it make sense to switch to a “management” program like Mr. Zandri discussed Monday night whereby three parcels per year get rotated for the hunt? Do we give the deer a one-year holiday and check on the population size thereafter?
I think the time has come for the selectmen to take the foot off the gas pedal.