Massachusetts Deer News
Ban on deer hunting is shot down May 18, 2013 Massachusetts, Boston.com
... A proposed hunting ban in Weston’s town forests failed with a show of hands by residents packed into a standing-room-only Town Meeting ...
Record number of letters on deer hunting issue in Weston May 11, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
[Weston is currently debating the usefulness of their deer management program] ... Wildlife biologists estimate there are 25 deer per square mile in our region, a number consistent with the impacts we have seen in Weston. Optimal numbers to minimize harm to humans, ground-nesting birds, wildflowers, and forest is closer to 10 per square mile. That is our long-term goal [the latest U.S. Forest Service research puts the optimal deer number for forest health at 15 to 28 per square mile, with too much underbrush developing at deer densities of 10 and lower]
Weston, Program counters deer-hunt backers May 5, 2013 Massachusetts, Boston.com
... “I began studying deer and Lyme 20 years ago in grad school, and nothing has changed. Not the arguments, not people’s reactions,” said Laura Simon, a wildlife ecologist with the Humane Society of the United States, during the Wednesday night session at Weston Public Library. “And in all that time, I can’t point to a single community where a bow-hunting program has had any impact on managing the deer population or reducing the spread of Lyme disease.” ...
Weston, Examining the Deer Problem May 4, 2013 Massachusetts, Letter to Wicked Local by Gail Bayer
.. The walk was lead by Thomas Rawinski, who is a botanist as well as a hunter ... Tom would continuously say there was some deer browse on different plants but that he had seen much worse and that this was a good sign it was not that bad... everal times people thought they saw deer browse but when Tom examined it he said no, that is from the rabbits. During our walk we saw only one deer and one pile of deer droppings. After two hours of observing and listening, I came away feeling that Weston does not have a serious deer browse problem... Why then are we really allowing hunting on our town lands? It is not the deer-car accidents, as they were the lowest in 10 years in 2012 ...
Weston, Eye in sky finds fewer deer in Westport than expected; next step uncertain May 3, 2013 Massachusetts, Westport-News
... the March aerial survey of the local deer population ... "a total of 589 deer in 203 deer groups," ... The number of deer identified by the survey ... is lower than state projections, and roughly equals 30 deer per square mile in town... At the heart of the report, it is expected, will be a recommendation that the town attempt to develop some kind of contraceptive program to control the local numbers of deer...
Westport Aerial Survey: Where the Deer Are May 3, 2013 Massachusetts, Westport Now
... The Westport Deer Management Committee Thursday night discussed the results of an aerial infrared radar survey of Westport’s deer population.... [Vision Air Research graphic below, click to enlarge]
Deer-hunting forum focuses on health issues April 27, 2013 Massachusetts, Boston.com
... A proposal to prohibit hunting on public land will go before Town Meeting next month ... Allen Rutberg, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said he was not surprised at the controversy.
“Although we argue about the science, the arguments really aren’t about the data but rather how to look at the data in terms of how we see the world,” ... The panel was organized by the town’s Conservation Commission, which wants to continue the hunting program...
Weston ConCom adopts Lyme prevention recommendations April 27, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
... The Lyme Commission also recommends deer reduction as a long-term Lyme disease prevention strategy... a problem that “emerged as a result of three main factors: (1) reforestation after the abandonment of pastures and farms, (2) increased development (suburbanization) and recreational use of habitat, and (3) expansion in the density and distribution of white tailed deer, the main reproductive host of the deer tick.” ... “(d)eer density is the only one of these factors over which we have any possible control.” [deer density not correlated with Lyme Disease]
Weston Conservation Commission holding forum on deer issues April 21, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
... The Conservation Commission invites residents to attend a public forum on deer, deer ticks and deer management on Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Room of the Weston Community Center... “Use of Contraception for the Management of Deer Populations” – Dr. Allen Rutberg, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Tufts-Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, will discuss successes and challenges in using contraception to manage deer-human conflicts...
'Altresco' deer herd: captive or not? April 11, 2013 Massachusetts, North Adams Transcript
... Tony Gola, Mass Wildlife Western District biologist, said: "We’ve been receiving pleas to rescue these deer for more than a decade. The fact that they have been in there so many years indicates all their survival needs are being met or they have the means to come and go from the area. From an animal welfare issue, I’m convinced no intervention is needed." ... Altresco Plant Manager Richard Taikowski, Jr. said: "I have been at Altresco for 21 years [and] have been seeing deer on the adjacent property for about 15 years....
Weston, Send correct message to our youth about deer April 6, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local, Jeanne W. Yozell
... I have lived in Weston for 55 years on property where we have often seen deer grazing in our field and woods... Please do not send a message to our current youngsters that killing defenseless deer is permissible and helpful...
Rowley, Deer butchering leads to fines, resignations March 30, 2013 Massachusetts, The Daily News of Newburyport
... The illegal butchering of deer at one of the town's wells has led the state to shut down the well, impose a $26,000 fine, and resulted in the resignations of the two water department employees who allegedly committed the act...
Weston, Conservation Commission chair: Pondering death and deer March 22, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local, Laura Bent
... Death by arrow is surely preferable, for both deer and people, to a public, dangerous, traumatic, gruesome, expensive and pointless death by car [see transportation page for alternative solutions ] ... What principle can I use to evaluate whether the killing of an animal is justified? I have struggled with this question, and here is my conclusion – if the species is plentiful, if the animal lived a reasonably good life, if it was killed humanely, and if I take no more of it than I need, then my standard has been met. [these animals are not being killed as a need for food]
Weston, Bow hunting to be decided by Weston voters March 21, 2013 Massachusetts, Boston.com
... voters will be asked to ban hunting on town lands ... at Town Meeting ... Members of Weston Deer Friends, and their signs asking passing motorists to honk in support, have become a regular sight most weekends along Route 20 near the center of town... Weston Deer Friends member Isabella Jancourtz said she called police to complain about a hunter in camouflage who came too close to her house... “We discovered deer collisions had declined before the program even started,” ... Diane Anderson
Weston, Deer Management Discussion Creates 'Uncomfortable Position' for Town Leaders March 15, 2013 Massachusetts, Patch.com
... “We would love to get [the deer population] down to eight to 10 per square mile, which is what the state recommends," Donahue said, explaining that 18 deer killed last season is a step in the right direction. "I don’t think that will happen overnight, but I think this will slow the rise.” ... [recent U.S. Forest Service research suggest that 10 deer per square mile is too low for a healthy forest, allowing underbrush to develop. 15 to 28 deer per square mile seems to be just right, with forest regeneration even at higher deer densities] ... the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife estimating 25 deer per square mile in Weston and the surrounding area....
Weston, Delay decision on deer hunting in Weston March 14, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
... Weston Deer Friends ... invite the Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission and interested residents to our informational forum, “Living with Deer and Without Lyme Disease” at the Weston Library on Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m... Deer-car collisions are actually trending down, even when total accidents rise... Deer-related accidents in 2011 were down to 26, from 28 in 2010 and 36 in 2009, a drop of 27 percent from the peak. Where is the need to hunt? ... the Center for Disease Control reports that incidences of Lyme Disease in Massachusetts are down dramatically. After peaking in 2009 at 61 per 100,000 residents ...
Cape feeding stations set up for deer tick project March 11, 2013 Massachusetts, Capecodonline
... according to Larry Dapsis, deer tick project coordinator with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. There are 18 stations where corn will be used to attract deer.
The deers' fur is treated with the insecticide permethrin when the animals come in contact with the corn dispenser... Ticks that crawl across the deer's treated fur are killed ... U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which sponsored the project...
Weston, Commission to present report on deer hunting in Weston March 10, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local- Weston
... The commission deems that the program ... Eighteen deer were killed on town conservation land ... [Read the report] ... [residents are encouraged to attend a meeting] ... March 13 in Town Hall ... send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Weston residents must demand better solution for deer March 10, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local, Syamala Swaminathan
... In any well conducted program, success factors and parameters must be clearly defined and the results must be measurable and tied to the original problem the program is seeking to solve. Merely stating that 18 deer were dead and that the hunters were happy as a success story is not enough... We need a clear and well thought out plan that is scientific, measurable and humane...
Whitetail does give birth to fawns all over New England March 5, 2013 Massachusetts, Gloucester Daily Times
... The gestation period of the typical white-tailed deer is about 6.5 months which means that most of the young born in this area will drop during the last of March and the month of April... Other than when she returns to nurse, the doe will stay away from the fawn so her odor does not give away the fawn’s location to possible predators... fawns withhold their feces and urine until the mother arrives. She then eats these feces to make sure that predators cannot detect the drop spot with the fawn...
Looking beyond the Mass. deer numbers February 24, 2013 Massachusetts, The Sun
... the preliminary total harvest for all seasons was 10,920... note the decline of deer numbers in Western Mass. ... Mass Wildlife is addressing this by issuing fewer antlerless deer permits each year... the numbers have just exploded in the north and southeast...
Crazy Jane And The Deer February 19, 2013 Massachusetts, Cape Cod Today (blog)
... and so towards the resting deer she made her way thru the snow as I stood at the window, holding my breath, whether for the cat or the deer, I did not know. The ears of the deer elevated like two mountain peaks towards the sky as the cat approached them, their noses twitching wildly. Within about ten feet of them, the cat collapsed in the snow, assuming the same repose as the deer, who did not move from their spot....
Weston, Citizens' petition on deer hunting coming to Town Meeting February 17, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local, Isabella Jancourtz
I was surprised to read in last week's Town Crier (“Deer report”) that the Weston Police Department received no complaints about deer hunting, as I made one myself in the fall when my husband and I observed a deer hunter in camouflage within 500 feet of our house and within 150 feet of our road, in violation of state law... I also know of two incidents involving deer wounded by bow hunters, observed by two individuals in town, both of whom were understandably traumatized to see these animals bleeding and staggering around with arrows in them... *
Massachusetts legislators seek to toughen penalties for wildlife poaching February 13, 2013 MassLive.com
... state Sen. Michael O. Moore ... is teaming up with another state legislator and the Humane Society of the United States, in a push to update and toughen the state's laws against wildlife poaching... the bill also seeks to require Massachusetts to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement among states for enforcing different hunting laws...
Hunters bagged nearly 11,000 deer in Massachusetts in 2012, preliminary reports show February 9, 2013 Massachusets, MassLive.com
... The 2012 deer harvest has hit a respectable 10,920 and more numbers have yet to be counted, according to MassWildlife...
Weston Conservation Commission report on deer season February 8, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local- Weston
... A total of 18 deer were killed ...10 does and eight bucks... hunters expressed their interest in continuing the program next season.
Misleading statement in previous letter about deer February 1, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
In the Jan. 17 Town Crier, there was a letter to the editor by Henry I. Smith (“How best to cull the deer”) that states in the first paragraph, “As a professor at MIT, one of my professional interests has been ecosystem balance ... Smith is indeed a professor of MIT, but he is an electrical engineer. His research has nothing to do with ecosystems, and a lot to do with nanostructures. His “non-professional interests include trips to the Canadian Arctic for hiking, photography and fly fishing ...
West Newbury, Bow hunting eyed for deer January 22, 2013 Massachusetts, The Daily News of Newburyport
Driscoll said West Newbury has a larger-than-typical deer population for its square footage, which can lead to multiple health and biological problems. West Newbury has 20 to 26 deer per square mile, but the ideal is eight to 10 deer [U.S. Forest service recommend 15 to 28, too low at 10] ... Selectman Glenn Kemper proposed the formation of the committee ... provided the committee with a memo outlining messages the selectmen’s office has received since the group was formed. Most of the messages were from people against or unsure of the plan....
Mild weather a cause for average deer hunting season January 10, 2013 Massachusetts, North Adams Transcript, By Anja Heister
... "Numbers are coming in, and we're seeing they're very close to last year's," said Reggie Zimmerman, assistant press secretary for the state's Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. This comes despite the unseasonably warm 2011-12 winter that led some hunters to expect a banner hunting season, as warm temperatures and scant snowcover would have allowed more deer to survive the winter...
Weston, Implement humane solutions for deer January 4, 2013 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
... In the words of Dr. Allen Rutberg, “The most visible weakness in the assertion that hunting is necessary to control deer population is that it has largely failed to do so over the last two decades.” ... It may be convenient for those who want a massacre to perpetuate the myth of deer causing Lyme disease, but this perception is neither supported by scientific research, nor is it helpful in finding ways to prevent the outbreaks and helping those impacted by the disease.
Some surprising numbers from Mass. deer season December 30, 2012 Massachusetts, Lowell Sun
... The shotgun season netted 4,995 animals which is good but down some from the predictions. There are still a few stations yet to call in their numbers which will take that number over 5,000. The archery season was the very big surprise with 3,850 deer taken, just 1,100 shy of the shotgun hunters. This also shows the popularity of archery and how it has grown over the past two decades.
Lincoln, Fate of deer in hands of Council December 8, 2012 Massachusetts, Woonsocket Call
... The Council’s fifth member and chair of the subcommittee, Arthur Russo, may cast the deciding vote if the hunting ordinance revision is forwarded for consideration by the full panel, according to [Councilmen John Flynn] ... said he has received a large number of calls and emails about the deer ordinance, more than he has received on any other topic during his six years on the panel, and those contacts were predominately all against a renewed deer hunting option in the town....
Mass. deer season going well so far, deer population December 2, 2012 Massachusetts, The Sun
... Massachusetts is home to approximately 100,000 deer with the population growing ...The mild winter of last year was perfect for the animal to thrive... fawn production was high so survival was high. Only coyote and fisher was a problem to the fawn crop of the year... Its expected that somewhere between 12 and 13% of the deer population will be reduced ... after all seasons, archery, shotgun and primitive arms seasons are finished on December 31 will be about 13,000...
Shotgun Deer Hunting Season Underway November 27, 2012 Massachusetts, Patch.com
... Shotgun deer hunting season started yesterday and runs through December 8... "[Deer] Densities range from about 10 per square mile in northwestern Massachusetts to 45 to 55 per square mile on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket...," according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife website... Massachusetts is the third most densely populated state, when it comes to deer...
Whitetail deer plentiful as shotgun season opens Monday in Massachusetts November 24, 2012 MassLive.com
A relatively mild 2011-2012 winter could mean a deer kill of more than 12,000 animals, a far cry from the 1950 and 1960s where the total harvest a couple of times fell below 2,000 ... there are plenty of deer. This is due mostly to the transition of one level forest to two levels of trees, development of farms and an excellent MassWildlife deer project...
Deer season opens in Massachusetts November 21, 2012 Gloucester Daily Times
The shotgun deer season opens in Massachusetts on Monday, Nov. 26, and will end Dec. 8. The Black powder season will be held from Dec.10 to Dec. 31. The limit is two antlered deer per year... Because of the easy winters we have had in the past couple of years ... there is a chance we will break the record for the number of deer taken in the state that was set in 2002 at 12,417.
Burlington, Landlocked Forest: Is bow hunting legal? November 15, 2012 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
... The short answer to this question is no. According to Town Administrator John Petrin ... Landlocked Forest sub-committee chairman is working to gather information and determine whether the selectmen will allow bow hunting to continue, a practice that has gone on for decades on the Landlocked Forest, without local permission ...
Sudbury, Bow hunting program in Sudbury November 14, 2012 Massachusetts, Wicked Local
The Sudbury Conservation Commission (SCC) will be running the Archery Deer Management Program on some of the town conservation lands again this year as it has done since 1999... The purpose of the program is to control the deer population safely and ethically by allowing experienced archery hunters onto town lands... Nine of this year’s hunters have been in the participating in the program since 1999.
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Massachusetts Data: Between 85,000 and 95,000 deer in the state according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. About 8500 coyotes.
Other useful links:
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
- Weston Deer Friends
Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
Deer Management Strategy: White-tailed deer are managed in Massachusetts as a valuable natural resource. As such, MassWildlife sets deer density goals below human tolerance limits. If deer densities exceed human tolerance, people tend to label deer as pests. This attitude is contrary to MassWildlife's mission of wildlife conservation.