Connecticut Deer News

Shelton Deer Committee loses 1,200 deer, online discussion February 26, 2015 Connecticut, Bowsite.com 
     The recently disbanded Shelton Deer Committee had a hard time deciding just how many deer they actually had ? One minute it`s 800 and the next it`s 2,000. Last year in 2014, Shelton cooked the books on their deer population by 65.5% ( 925 to 1,531 / CT DEEP Transect Survey ) stating they had to use the " larger numbers from 2009 "; when in reality they have approximately 300 deer... The Shelton deer committee says they need to get their deer population down to 8 -12 dpsm; they will be very happy to hear; they are already there ! ... 

... An ad hoc committee established to look into how the deer population is impacting Shelton has recommended allowing bowhunting on “a small number of suitable city open space properties.” ... The report  says studies indicate a deer population needs to be reduced to 8 to 12 deer per square mile to have a significant impact on the tick population and associated illnesses. [Much of the recent research indicates a deer cull is generally not effective against Lyme disease, see also an article related to the Shelton Deer population]

Redding, Tick study enters final year February 20, 2015 Conecticut, The Redding Pilot 
... The study is funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  In the four test areas, different treatment combinations are being tested ... a company called White Buffalo comes to town and removes deer in two study areas using guns... Some hunters were also vocal about their disapproval of White Buffalo culling deer in the off season and they believed that the numbers reported by Dr. Williams are inaccurate... [related information below]

      On January 11th and 14th, 2015, residents of Newtown, CT contracted with Vision Air Research for a Forward Looking Infrared ( FLIR ) survey to determine the deer population in Newtown, CT. This survey was conducted between the hours of 1500-2000 (3-8pm) on the dates given and the results of this survey showed on average 11.41 deer per square mile; a total of 689 deer were located in 296 groups.  This survey covered all Newtown's  60.38 square miles and therefore represents a true census of Newtown's whitetail deer herd.   The CT DEEP transect survey for 2015; is based on surveying 1.5% of Newtown, CT;  the privately funded FLIR surveyed the entire town of Newtown, CT.  Appendix A - Page 7; as been removed from this report showing the deer group locations and size throughout Newtown, CT.

Aerial Infrared Deer Survey Redding, Connecticut – January 2015 [PDF] February 17, 2015 Susan Bernatas, Certified Wildlife Biologis, Vision Air Research, Inc
...  A total of 234 deer were located in 102 groups (Appendix A – 1). I delineated the two blocks requested over the area flown. The eastern most block had 6 groups and 12 deer while the western block had 5 groups and 11 deer (Appendix A 2 and 3). Most deer were found in forest settings. Deer group size ranged from 1 – 8 individuals. Groups were found across Redding....

Shelton, There's push to limit deer population in Shelton February 11, 2015 Connecticut, NBC 2
... , it's illegal to hunt in Shelton on city-owned property, but the city is weighing its options. The reason is simple because some say there are just too many deer...  The board will determine which if any of the recommendations the city of Shelton will take up...

Winter Storms Impact Connecticut Wildlife In Different Ways January 31, 2015 Connecticut, Hartford Courant
...  "prolonged periods of deep snow can lead to high over-winter mortality" for deer populations.  One study cited by federal authorities found a 12-inch snowfall could make 97 percent of potential food "unavailable to white-tail deer" in our region...

Redding, Hunters Express Concern About Redding Deer Cull January 26, 2015 Connecticut, Bowsite.com
     It has come to the sportsmen's attention that the State of CT DEEP has issued a permit and CAES have begun shooting at night in Redding in their continued effort to destroy the relatively small yet remaining deer herd. The final deer kill of the CAES Study was slated for February and March 2015 after the close of the archery deer season at the end of January. It was also promised by Rick Jacobson of The CT DEEP that an aerial survey would be done to insure the herd was not reduced below a level of 10 deer per square mile in the test areas. While it is believed the state did the required survey it was found that this was done over baited areas that will artificially inflate the deer counts in the test areas. The sportsmen self funded an FLIR survey in the hopes of establishing a starting point in a discussion with CT DEEP on proactive deer management... With deer populations dropping by approximately 75% in less than five years and Lyme cases increased by close to 62%, it will be hard for the state to explain their actions...

Severed Deer Head Found on Wesleyan Campus January 24, 2015  Connecticut, NBC Connecticut
... Public safety officials are investigating after a severed deer head was discovered in a crosswalk at Wesleyan University in Middletown ...

   Last week an FLIR [Forward-looking infrared] deer survey was completed in Redding, CT. The survey covered all of Reddings; ( 31.5 ) square miles and was done using current FLIR technology by VisionAirResearch.Com ... While there can be "pockets" of stable deer populations there has been a growing trend (as reported here by experienced bow hunters) of a steady decline in the deer herd, especially in Fairfield County. ...[Hunters discuss Issues related to this survey and Connecticut deer populations]

Westport, Deer rescued by firefighters in Westport January 9, 2015, Connecticut, 6 WECT
... Firefighters were able to rescue a deer that was stuck in a fence in Westport on Friday morning...

Redding, Deer Reduction = Increased Lyme January 2, 2015 Connecticut, Bowsite.com
...  From 2009-2014 the deer harvest rates in Redding; town owned open spaces plummeted by 95% ( 141 to 7 ) and town wide by 78% ( 321 to 70 ). In sharp contrast reported cases of Lyme increased by 62% + over the last 4 years despite this drop in deer harvest numbers. In comparison, Greenwich and Westport have stable populations of 25+ deer per square mile and Lyme disease rates remains low, even with deer populations nearly three times that of Redding.

Coyote sightings shouldn’t be a surprise, according to wildlife officials December 30, 2014 Connecticut, monroecourier.com 
... Coyotes were not originally found in Connecticut ... first reported in Connecticut in the mid-1950s ... eventually expanded their range throughout the entire state ... 

Bridgeport urban deer hunt enters final week December 25, 2014 Connecticut, theet.com 
... The city’s Urban Deer Hunt Committee will likely review the five-year program to see if it’s having the desired effect, [Mayor] Greer said. “We’re five years into it, and it’s probably time to revisit it and see if we’re having the impact we’d hoped to have,” ...

Redding Deer Population and Harvest Down 80% December 19, 2014 Connecticut, ReddingNews.com
... 2009 to 2014 we see the Redding deer population and harvest rate go down by approximately  80%. [321 to 63] ...They are no longer taking about ticks as reported cases of Lyme increased by 62.5% + over the last 4 years in Redding despite the significantly decreasing deer population... When will the CT DEEP step in and put a stop to the over kill of deer...

... according to the DEEP website “Coyotes were first reported in Connecticut in the mid-1950s. For the next 10 years, most coyote reports were from northwestern Connecticut,” the site states. “Coyotes eventually expanded their range throughout the entire state and are now a part of Connecticut’s ecosystem.” ...

My compliments to Davy and Daniel December 8, 2014 Connecticut, Meriden Record-Journal
... The original black powder season in Connecticut was intended to promote the use of primitive firearms to take a deer with. You were limited as to the type of muzzleloader that could be used and many things that would benefit the user were frowned upon.  

Connecticut Deer Herd Numbers December 6, 2014 Outdoor Escapes
... It will be interesting to see what the harvest numbers look like for the season. My guess is they will be down quite a bit from recent years. Talking to several friends they are all experiencing the same thing while out in the woods. Less deer sighted per day...

How deer have decimated our woodlands November 29, 2014 Connecticut, Suffolk Times
... Over the past 10 years, studies in the Pine Barrens, at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island and at various Southold properties have documented the nearly complete loss of our understory [Over this period, the Connecticut deer population has plummeted according to deer researchers.  The loss of understory cannot be inferred as a problem of deer overpopulation without adequate research .. acid rain, global warming ... ] ...

Ridgefield, Town considers use of guns for deer hunt at golf course November 24, 2014 Connecticut, The Ridgefield Press 
... The damage is not limited to greens. Also affected are tee complexes, fairways and many shrubs ... some 236 deer were killed by hunting in Ridgefield last year ...

A-hunting We Will Go November 22, 2014 Connecticut, theday.com 
... According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the number of licensed sportsmen hunting and fishing in Connecticut each year has declined from about 300,000 in the early 1990s to about 200,000 today...

Open season on deer in Connecticut November 20, 2014 foxct.com 
... Hunters in Connecticut can kill two deer per season, and only one of them can be a buck. But, due to overpopulation in Fairfield County, hunters there can take an additional two does for a total of four deer...

Moose Spotted in North Haven November 20, 2014 Connecticut, NBC Connecticut
... Authorities said the moose was trying to cross Route 22 near Interstate 91 and it's possible this is the same moose spotted in Cheshire last week.

Weston,Devil's Den to close weekdays for annual limited deer hunt November 13, 2014 Connecticut, The Redding Pilot
... The Nature Conservancy will hold its annual controlled deer hunt at Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston ... held each fall since 2001 ... 

Connecticut's Extremely Efficient Deer-Killer October 27, 2014 Connecticut, CT Now
... DeNicola estimates he's been responsible for the deaths of about 10,000 deer since he began his Connecticut-based nonprofit wildlife control company in 1995... He does not consider what he does to be hunting ...  plastic bag was placed over the head of the animal to keep blood and brains from spreading across the park playing field where the deer was killed...

More land, legal changes boost Conn. bow hunting October 25, 2014 Connectictut, CT Post
... With firearms, one needs to be at least 500 feet away from a house. There's no such restriction with bows... A crossbow bolt is nowhere near as fast as a bullet, and deer move at the twang of a string, which can cause a missed shot ...

Deer hunters' antler obsession all nonsense October 13, 2014 Connecticut, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
... "You can't eat antlers," Nishan often explains. He hunts to stock his freezer and could care less if a deer made the Pope & Young or Boone & Crockett record books. In fact, he'd prefer a doe, yearling, or button buck for superior flavor and tenderness... We develop obsessions for big antlers, which are barometers of our skills. Old deer are smart deer — usually outwitting us at every turn...

DEEP Announces Opening Days of Firearms Hunting Seasons October 4, 2014 Connecticut, The Ridgefield Press
... The statewide firearms deer hunting season begins Wednesday, November 19...  The 2014 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide ...  on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/hunting.

Wilton, Controlled deer hunt begins again in Wilton October 4, 2014 Connecticut, The Hour Online
... “On average, Wilton has about 200 deer harvested, with 50 taken in the controlled hunt,” ... We have to take the deer from town because deer don’t migrate... We need to take out about 300 deer annually, over seven to 10 years ... Sesto also wants residents to consider allowing hunters to use their properties in town for bow and gun hunting...

Ridgefield, Selectmen approve deer hunt October 2, 2014 Connecticut, The Ridgefield Press
... state officials had told them the town would have to continue to reduce the herd by about 300 deer a year in order to see a significant population decline, or to be able to change  from aggressive culling to a maintenance operation.  “You’re saying you have to hunt 300 deer forever,” said Selectwoman Barbara Manners ...

Connecticut Data:  An unofficial estimate of 60,000 deer in the state in 2014.  Deer populations are highest in the southwest.  Although the state no longer makes a population estimate, given the difficulty of getting to a reliable number, the agency does track deer density in some particular areas. The last official estimate was 126,000 in 2006.  In 2014, a state expert (Scott Williams) concluded that the deer population has plunged.  Increased predation by  coyote and bobcat populations are thought to be the primary factor for the recent deer population decline, the first measured since the early 1900's when deer were very scarce from over hunting and conservation measures were implemented. The first statewide deer hunt in recent history was opened in the 1970s. Now, deer densities of 30 per square mile are not uncommon in the state.  Hunting data approximately tracks the deer population.  In 2014, hunters could take two deer, but only one can be a buck.  In Fairfiled County, including suburban areas where deer are considered to be over populated, hunters can take four deer but only one buck.

Other useful links:
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (also the Connecticut Division of Wildlife and the Connecticut Fisheries Division)