Letter : Health, the environment and bow hunting
Published 12:00 am, Sunday, November 6, 2016
The downsides of the over-abundant deer herd in Darien continue: Lyme and other tick-borne diseases (estimated 30,000 cases annually in Connecticut), deer vehicle accidents, and the over-foraging of the understory. As the understory deteriorates, we lose necessary habitats for birds and other small animals. Without the human intervention of bow hunting, deer herds can double in size about every three to five years since natural predators are almost completely absent.
As a well-understood fact, a large mammal host is necessary in the reproductive life of the deer tick. Unless you personally know someone who has had to deal with the debilitating effects of Lyme, you might underestimate the seriousness of this disease. But for those of you that have seen children with catheters or adults dealing with chronic Lyme, you fully understand the seriousness of the situation.
Fortunately in Darien, concerned citizens have contracted with bow hunters and have become part of the solution to this environmental and human health hazard. Bow hunters will work with you on the specifics of hunting on your land. The harvested meat is either consumed by the hunter’s family or donated to soup kitchens.
Please check with your current bow hunter, or, if newly interested in helping to manage the deer herd, please contact us at 203-655-3526 or the Town Clerk of Darien to obtain information and a list of bow hunters.
Tom and Laurie McGrath
Fairfield County Deer Alliance
and Darien Deer Management