[UPDATE] Rid Your Yard Of Deer. Eat Well For A Long Time, Too.

[UPDATE] Reader Amy Ancel points out that bow hunting is illegal in Westport. However, it is legal in other towns — with a permit.

Brian Burns is a 1994 graduate of Staples High School, where he starred on a state championship soccer tam. Now living nearly 300 miles north, in Calais, Vermont, he builds furniture and plays bluegrass guitar. He and his wife Dillon have 2 sons, Sarge (14) and Dewey (13).

In his free time, Brian is a bow hunter. Surprisingly, it takes serious effort — and luck — to find deer in northern Vermont. However, when visiting family here, he sees them everywhere. 

So — knowing how much homeowners here hate deer — Brian has an offer. He writes:

I hope to find Fairfield County landowners who will let me bow hunt deer on their property.

I am a very safe, ethical, quiet and responsible hunter. I’ll happily share as much venison with you as you’d like.

Typical deer hunting hours are the 90 minutes surrounding sunrise and sunset.

Bow hunting is a close range pursuit. Most shots are within 20 yards, from an elevated position, so arrow flight is short and very controlled.

Bow hunting

Ideally, properties would be 3 acres or more (the bigger the better!), and have deer on them during daylight hours.

Archery season for private land in Fairfield County starts September 15 and runs through the end of January. I’m able to get down there a few days each year.

Connecticut regulations require landowners to sign a consent form each year. I can supply that for anyone interested.

I hope to get down this January to give it a try. Please contact me (bbrianburns@aol.com) if you are interested.

Thank you so much. Happy holidays!

31 responses to “[UPDATE] Rid Your Yard Of Deer. Eat Well For A Long Time, Too.

  1. BOW HUNTING IS ILLEGAL IN WESTPORT! ALL HUNTING AND TRAPPING ARE ILLEGAL IN WESTPORT!

    This article should have never been
    run, Dan. I suggest you remove it.

    • Ray O'Sullivan

      OH PLEASE! ! ! Why don’t you go crawl back in your bubble. Here in Denver they killed 5000 geese last year and fed it to the homeless and others in need. The same can be true with deer.

  2. Kathryn Sirico

    I know hunting is a sport of sorts but please not in Westport. I could never live where this was a normal occurrence. A disturbing story to wake up to read.

  3. Lorraine Harrison

    No Way!!! those beautiful creatures? If people want to control the deer population..then let ‘s put some resources into sterilization… I have a deer and her babies visit my property, I care about them… they care about each other… If you want dead deer, drive around and look for road kill!

    • Maybe the frequent roadkills are the result of failure to control the population? Hunting is an effective and ethical means of controlling the population. Trapping and transferring wild game is both highly expensive and in most cases illegal, but it’s also highly ineffective.

    • A lot of roadkill is inedible, because of “bloodshot” meat damaged by impact, and bacteria that contaminates and spoils meat if left too long in the heat and other elements. It’s also illegal to collect roadkill deer in most states — a law designed keep poachers from illegally killing deer and claiming they found it dead if caught with the carcass.

      If one chooses to eat meat, it is much safer, healthier and better-tasting to know the origins and ensure it’s properly processed, treated and otherwise cared for, whether it be from the butcher or the wilds.

  4. This is a joke, right? No? Then I find it completely offensive and totally agree with Amy that this should be removed right away!

  5. If Vermont is in dire need of deer, let’s safely trap Westport deer and transport them to Vermont. The deer population should be evenly distributed throughout the North East and the rest of the USA.

  6. Melinda Hemson

    Really? Just because you are offended, the post should be removed? No offense but that’s pretty much everything that’s wrong with this country these days.
    But I digress…

    It is true that hunting of any kind is banned in Westport. However, just because you don’t condone hunting does not make it offensive. My son grew up hunting with his father and not only did it create an unbreakable bond between the two, it taught my son valuable lessons about survival and life in general.
    Venison is much healthier for us than any meat you can buy at the grocery store. It’s organic, free range, free of hormones, and less fatty. I agree that deer are beautiful animals but the truth is, they are better off than the cow and chicken factories that supply the grocery stores and yet you are fine with supporting that when you buy your beef or chicken at the store.

  7. What a strange post and choice of words for the holiday season. A deer can be viewed by different people in many ways (I choose to admire their beauty), but I recognize that hunting them for food or to limit the herd is a legal act in some towns. However, your use of the words “homeowners hate” to encourage this undertaking is certainly not in the holiday spirit of goodwill towards men (and animals) and probably not a sentiment that Brian would endorse either. Last I checked they are just trying to survive like the rest of us.

  8. Agree that this is a disturbing post for this time of season (or any season)…..particularly in regard to the previous post. The flip side to this story involves the NEIGHBORS of those in surrounding towns that either by their own hand or by a contracted service bow hunt on their “own” property. With no acreage restrictions on bow hunt permits, those whose property abuts, is adjacent or is near to those that elect to participate in such barbarism have experienced frightening and disturbing incidents – and have no recourse. Arrows don’t turn around at property lines nor do deer fall on the spot. I have a friend in Connecticut town that is afraid to leave her home during bow hunting season because her neighbor bow hunts on his “own” property. She is afraid for her family – both human and canine. We are very fortunate to live in a town that very wisely – and compassionately – bans the “sport” of hunting.

  9. Eric Buchroeder SHS ‘70 BA MA JDE

    It’s Dan’s blog and no one is forced to read it. I’m taking Dan’s silence to mean that he’s not going to let anyone other than his own value system dictate what he will write about. I’d rather Dan continue to diversify his subject matter beyond parking travesties and conspicuous consumption among the rich and famous. The difference between road kill and bow hunting is that the former ruins cars and is a total waste of a deer’s life and the latter helps restore an ecological balance that has been upset by human population growth.

  10. Peter Gambaccini

    I’m not going to pass judgment on this idea other than to say it’s not for me. Me, I just gave up beef in an effort to help save the Brazilian rainforest and the resident capybaras. But one key point is that the archer is looking to pluck his bow on private “estates” of three acres or more. That rules out entire neighborhoods, including anywhere I ever lived in town and just about every subdivision.

  11. I’m offended that someone may have had Turkey for Thanksgiving or Ham for Christmas…it’s very disturbing.

  12. I appreciate the diversity of this article – regardless of my position on hunting. We come from all walks of life – some obviously a hunting background. It’s not a lie that the deer population has exploded, however, there are other options.

    This comes from the Westport Town Charter. I find it interesting that apparently hunting with another animal is still legal – it seems hunting wasn’t the issue, but weapons were.

    ARTICLE I. – HUNTING AND TRAPPING[2]

    Sec. 10-1. – Penalty.
    Any person who shall violate this section shall be fined not more than $50.00 or be imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both.

    (Code 1981, § 66-3)

    Sec. 10-2. – Prohibited.
    Hunting and trapping are hereby prohibited in the Town, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to forbid:

    (1)Extermination of vermin or the killing of livestock upon private property by the owner of said property or his or her tenant or agent.
    (2)Beagling and similar forms of hunting with animals where no firearms or other weapons are employed.
    (Code 1981, § 66-1)

    Sec. 10-3. – Prima facie evidence.
    Possession of any loaded firearm for hunting outside any building shall be prima facie evidence of hunting in violation of this section.

    (Code 1981, § 66-2)

    • Good to know that “beagling” (a pack of 10 or more beagles chasing down rabbits) is still permitted in Westport . . . must be a story there?

  13. 06880 is a Westport publication and deals primarily with the goings-on in Westport. That’s why I suggested that the post be removed so that Westporters don’t come away with the false belief that they can contract this man’s services. Many people in town don’t know of our complete ban on hunting and trapping. We are the only town in Connecticut with such a restriction. (I say proudly.)

    While I am aware that people outside of Westport read 06880, I did not feel that advertising for a man’s services to bow hunt deer in Westport was appropriate, given our laws. I’m pleased that Dan has made a note advising people of its illegality. My comments had nothing to do with the morality or conservation arguments on the issue. It’s only about following the law in our town.

  14. Let me guess, many offended or taking issue eat meat or see road-killed deer on the regular? I am not a hunter. I know some people that do hunt deer in Fairfield County. I am not offended. I think that they are doing a service by helping control the population, killing more humanely than meat farms, and being sustainable by eating the meat (and sharing it with others). They are all respectful individuals, follow the rules, get proper permission, and hunt safely. Perhaps Westport should consider striking the law since there is a significant amount of land with deer. After all, I think that Westport is the ONLY town that has such a prohibition!

    • An odd and interesting background to that. Westport is apparently the only town in Connecticut that can have such a law:

      “In May 1933, the Connecticut General Assembly approved Special Act 254, which allowed Westport to ‘regulate, limit or prohibit hunting and trapping.’ No other town in Connecticut has such broad powers pertaining to hunting, and the reason for granted this exception remain murky.”
      https://patch.com/connecticut/westport/westport-hunting-ban-allowed-by-unique-law

      • It also had nothing to do with deer. There wasn’t a deer hunting season until 1974. The issue in the old days was something called “permissive trespass”. Unless someone had their property posted it was legal to wander from property to property hunting.

  15. Dick Lowenstein

    Been there, done that, and once in MY lifetime is enough for me:

    https://westportnow.com/index.php?/v3/comments/rtm_accepts_deer_resolution/

    Lots of interesting stories, but not for publication. 🙂

  16. Eight years ago, I stopped to see if this woman was ok…she was.
    She told me she just bought the car.

  17. But it tasted like blops of mud, feathers, flies, slugs, gumnuts, bugs and creepy crawlies!

  18. How is hunting considered a sport if the other team doesn’t know it’s playing?.