The Lyme disease conference in Stamford last week has brought back into focus a serious health threat for Fairfield County residents. While much recent media attention and public concern/action has gone to West Nile Virus, statistics remind us that a much more likely threat to our health and that of our families is Lyme disease. The CDC reported 1,590 cases of West Nile nationally by August of this year, yet fairly consistent number for Lyme in Connecticut alone have been in the 2,000 to 3,000 range annually. It is the number one most commonly reported vector borne illness in the U.S.

And, once again, we are reminded that the central player in this health drama is the over-abundant deer herd. Reducing the deer herd (estimated to be around 72 deer per square mile in Fairfield County) is a necessary health initiative. Because of this, lethal deer population management is the overwhelming choice of states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada.

Deer herds that lack natural predators (as ours do) can double every two years. Deer hunting season begins on Sept. 15 and runs through Jan. 31. Doing nothing favors the protection of over-abundant deer. Please consider being a part of a solution which will promote the health and safety of people by inviting a bow hunter on your property this year. A list of approved and licensed hunters is available through the Town Clerk of Darien.

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Laurie McGrath