Tag Archives: Deer

Pics Of The Day #1196

The sight of a human being walking his 100-pound chocolate lab near downtown did not frighten this very chill deer, It never moved. (Photo/Jansen van Arsdale)

Meanwhile, things were much more active at the Taylortown Marsh, near Kings Highway North and Wilton Road in downtown Westport. (Photo/Ed Simek)

Pic Of The Day #1036

Deer are a common sight in Westport. But what alert “06880” reader Johanna Rossi saw yesterday, just before dusk at St. Vincent’s Hospital on Long Lots Road, was not.

At first she thought a light was shining, reflecting on its antlers. But when she got out of her car, she realized something was stuck on them.

She has no idea what it was, or how it got there. But another deer tried unsuccessfully to help get it off. “So sad,” Johanna says.

(Photo/Johanna Rossi)

[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!

Pic Of The Day #857

Checking to see if “Bambi” is available at the library …(Photo/Mark Potts)

… and visiting their “deer departed.” (Photo/Justin Cheng)

Pics Of The Day #813

It’s been a while since we checked in on the Fresh Market ospreys. Looks like they’re doing great! (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of other wildlife to admire. Like many Westporters, this guy is enjoying a fine dinner. (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

That’s MISTER Wild Turkey to you. (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

Cute, unless she’s eating your plants. (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

A yellow-crowned night heron enjoys a meal on Saugatuck Shores (Photo/Gene Borio)

A Last Look Back At A Pretty Nice Day

Considering what could have been, today was not bad at all.

Like many families, the Shuldmans spent the morning quietly, at home. 15-year-old Avery saw this view outside, and captured it beautifully:

Deer - Avery Shuldman

When the roads were cleared — and how about a great hand for Westport’s Public Works Department! — Bart and Sue headed out to see how Compo fared.

It doesn’t get more Westport than this:

Compo Beach - Bart Shuldman

(Photos/Bart Shuldman)

(Photos/Bart Shuldman)

Thin The Herd

Deer today...

Deer:  The prettiest creatures Westporters love to hate.

Soon they (the deer) will have a lot more to worry about than tall fences and repellents.

An organization called Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance is on their tail.  Behind the Bambi-sounding name lies a group with a mission.  They may be to the animal world what Americans for Immigration Control is to humans.

The Deer Alliance has collected over 230 signatures — with 100 more on their website.  Their petition to the RTM will be discussed on Tuesday.

It reads:

We the undersigned electors of the Town of Westport request the RTM and First Selectman to create a plan for the control of the Town’s deer herd, the current size of which threatens our health, safety, environment and quality of life.

The Alliance is not pro-deer.  Their site cites Lyme Disease, vehicle collisions and ravaged backyards.  Faced with those facts, deer don’t have a leg to stand on.

The Alliance then refers to a study by “two PhD’s from the Department of Health Policy and Management of New York Medical College” estimating the annual cost of deer to Westport at $8,934,162.

And, the Alliance says, “this is conservative.”

(Wondering where that money goes?   It’s hard to tell — there was no direct link to the study — but nosing around the site I found references to “vehicle accidents with deer, landscape losses, tick and deer spray programs, medical expenses due to tick-borne diseases in residents and their pets, special ed costs for schools with Lyme affected kids, stormwater damage abatement due to erosion from loss of the understory.”

Costs that are impossible to estimate include “quality of life issues, lost work days, higher auto and health insurance premiums for individuals and towns, and loss of income from nature centers suffering from environmental degradation with the loss of fragile plant and bird species etc.)”

The Alliance seeks “a safe, humane and effective program to begin to confront the problem.”  Assistance and advice is available, they say, “from our State DEP officers and leaders in our sister towns that have already implemented deer management plans.  These people are ready, willing and able to help us.”

Then the Alliance moves in for the kill.

...gone tomorrow? (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

They note:  “This is not a new issue for Westport.  The ‘no hunting’ ordinance, unique to our Town in Connecticut, has been debated over and over.  But the problem does not go away.  If countries in southern Africa can manage their burgeoning elephant populations, surely we can confront our own animal menace here.”

So how do Africans manage their elephants?

According to the Species Survival Commission, methods include “culling, translocation, range expansion, manipulation of water sources, and contraception.”

I’m not sure where we would translocate deer to.  We can’t expand their range or manipulate their water.  And I can’t even conceive of deer (let alone elephant) condoms.

Which leaves culling.

The Alliance cuts to the chase in a section of its website headed “Deer Population Reduction.”

Links lead readers to articles like “Deer management study points to hunting as solution” and “For Environmental Balance, Pick Up a Rifle.”  The rifle article — by Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times — takes a balanced view of the issue.  In fact, Kristoff says, “hunting is as natural as bird-watching.”  So much for the liberal media.

But Westport is, as we all know, special.  Discharging firearms — even bow hunting — is prohibited everywhere in town.  According to a police spokesman, the only hunting allowed is waterfowl — and that’s below the high-water line.  Plus, you’ve got to approach your prey by boat.

The Alliance seems ready to change — or at least challenge — that.  They don’t see this as a hunting-rights issue; to them it’s about safety (Lyme disease, vehicular strikes) and cents (at least $8,934,162 a year).

So what’s ahead:  New regulations?  Culled Killed herds?  Specified times when parents will be warned to keep kids indoors?

Who knows?  Only one thing is certain:  When the RTM takes this issue up, all sides of the issue will fire away.

Dramatic Deer Rescue On Compo Cove

Mike Robertshaw, Richard Stein and a tiny deer.

Mike Robertshaw, Richard Stein and a tiny deer.

Guests at a graduation party tonight were surprised to see a tiny deer — no bigger than 2 chihuahas — wandering lost along Old Mill Beach.

The hosts enlisted help.  They wrapped the petrified animal in a blanket.  Then — alerted that the mother had been seen earlier at the end of the cove — catering crew members Richard Stein and Mike Robertshaw placed the deer in a hand cart, and wheeled it down to meet its mother.

Let’s hope the animal grows, thrives, and joins its deer brethren in destroying all our foliage, for many years to come.