Deer Me!

Earlier today, posted a very intriguing aerial photo:

Deer map

It’s an infrared radar survey of Westport’s deer population. Of course!

The 5-hour nighttime survey was taken March 10 by Vision Air Research of Boise, Idaho. According to WestportNow, 589 deer were found in 203 groups, ranging from “1-8 individuals.”

A few thoughts:

  • I did not know that deer were “individuals.”
  • If there is no turquoise dot near where I live, who is eating my bushes?
  • Why are deer only in Westport, and not Weston, Fairfield or Norwalk?

16 responses to “Deer Me!

  1. Bobbie Herman

    There are plenty of them in Fairfield. Especially at night if you’re driving. I think all 589 of them have visited my garden at one time or another.

  2. Audrey Hertzel

    Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of (potential) Lymes Disease!

  3. Brett Aronow

    There are 8 on Minute Man Hill (I’ve counted) They like June’s apples too when they fall on the ground!

  4. Gosh, looks like we’ve inherited Held Pond from Weston! (And likely a few more deer.)

  5. oops, tweetiejo is me!
    –Jo Shields

  6. Jeffrey T. Lea

    They visit you in the daytime, Dan; as for Fairfield, we have a group of 5 which regularly visits our yard (on a very busy thru street) to eat our jonquils and any other pretty things we dare to plant! In this regard, Westport is NOT that special!! (grin)

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. David Abrams

    I did not know that deer were “individuals.” – Yes Dan. Every Dear is precious in it’s own special way. Of course they are individuals.
    If there is no turquoise dot near where I live, who is eating my bushes? – Really Dan, Turquoise? They weren’t there when the survey was taken, or more likely, their heat signature blended with warm car hoods and concrete. You’ll notice that all the dots are in the woods.
    Why are deer only in Westport, and not Weston, Fairfield or Norwalk? – Because Weston, Fairfield, and Norwalk didn’t pay for the assessment. The data is there, for sure. But those other towns are gonna have to pay to play.

  8. Rose Jordan

    Well, there are three dots near my neighborhood and, as far as I’m concerned, that is three dots too many. They have eaten all of my shrubbery and I’m not looking forward to spraying Bobex all summer long just to have a few flowering plants in my garden – not to mention the threat of Lyme Disease. I hope the committee comes up with a solution soon. I used to love Bambi but not any more.

  9. David Stalling

    Throughout the 1960s it was pretty much unheard of to see deer in Westport. It was even pretty rare to see them when we went camping in the forests of northern Connecticut, near Kent, Cornwall and along the Housatonic River. I remember one morning in the early 1970s that my father was so excited to see deer in our front yard in Westport that he woke us all up to see. Now it seems they are everywhere.

    Wildlife biologists I have talked to about this attribute the growth, expansion and current abundance of deer in the Westport area to several factors, including: The abandonment of farms and related increase in forested areas; Two to four-acre zoning and construction of homes with plenty of small woodlots near and between homes providing good, safe habitat for deer, and the expansion of ornamental plants that provide an easy and available food source.

    • Bobbie Herman

      David — I think a lot of it has to do with the development of land that was once wooded, and where the deer lived. We’ve invaded their turf, and they have nowhere else to go.

  10. David Stalling

    That could be part of it too, Bobbie. But that wouldn’t explain why overall deer numbers have skyrocketed throughout Connecticut — from an estimated 16,000 deer statewide in the 1950s to nearly 100,000 today. Our developments have created pretty good deer habitat with plenty of cover, security and food for them. They’ve adapted pretty well to us.

    • Mary McGee

      Coyotes are also on the rise. I wonder if we will see a decrease in deer as coyotes thin the herd. I’d rather have three deer than one coyote on my property.

  11. Cathy Smith Barnett '66

    Dan, there are quite a few deer in Norwalk!!!

  12. Phil (real name) Perlah

    I’ve seen cheetahs go after zebra and gnus in Africa and a couple of pairs of cheetahs would do wonders in reducing the deer population here (and also the dog and cat and small children population – alas). We have all the good deer habitat mentioned above, but no predators. Hunting is absolutely not the solution. Westport is too populated with small children and other beneficial things.

  13. Thanks for the heads up. There goes my weed farm.