Deer Overpopulation Spurs Plan of Action

For years, if not decades, residents have complained to City Hall about deer infestation: deer eating their shrubs and flowers, leaving droppings across their lawns, unavoidably being hit by their vehicles, and spreading ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Published April 4, 2013 2:15 PM
2 min read

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For years, if not decades, residents have complained to City Hall about deer infestation: deer eating their shrubs and flowers, leaving droppings across their lawns, unavoidably being hit by their vehicles, and spreading ticks that carry Lyme disease.

 

By Rye Record Staff

 

For years, if not decades, residents have complained to City Hall about deer infestation: deer eating their shrubs and flowers, leaving droppings across their lawns, unavoidably being hit by their vehicles, and spreading ticks that carry Lyme disease. Interestingly, when John Baker, Director of Conservation for the County, spoke before the City Council on March 20, he focused primarily on the damage the deer population is doing to Westchester forests.

 

In a power point presentation replete with pictures and graphs, Baker explained how “overabundant deer” are preventing “native tree species from reseeding themselves,” while “shrubs and flowers disappear, bird species decline, and invasive plants take over the understory.” Baker, who oversees the Adaptive Deer Management Program (ADAP) for the County (bow hunting of deer in County Parks), explained that the typical forested square mile can sustain about ten to 15 deer. He estimated that there are 60 to 65 deer per square mile in towns like Rye.

 

The County program employs private bow hunters who are licensed by ADAP. Applicants must pass rigorous tests related to training, equipment, and marksmanship, as well as have a proven track record of following the County rules on behavior on County lands. Deer are shot from tree stands; the hunters field dress and remove the deer.

 

Councilmembers expressed interest in the program and the possibility of implementing it in Rye at sites such as the Marshland’s Conversancy and the land surrounding the Jay Heritage Center (both County lands). Further discussions and public hearings will be scheduled for late this spring.

 

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