Town of Greenwich
State officials gave the town permission to remove as many deer as it could from three properties: the Pomerance-Montgomery Pinetum Park, Babcock Preserve and Griffith E. Harris Golf Course.
Greenwich was the first municipality in the state to receive permission to use sharpshooters to kill deer.
The state Department of Environmental Protection aerial survey showed there were up to 68 deer in a square mile of backcountry and 52.5 deer in a square mile of midcountry north of the Post Road.
Officials have said the ideal deer population would be below 26 deer per square mile.
Overabundant deer, which have few natural predators, invite swarms of Lyme-disease-carrying ticks, lead to an increase in traffic accidents, and wreak havoc on forest biodiversity by devouring ground cover and shrubs that other animals depend on, according to the Greenwich Conservation Commission. The commission last year recommended the town reduce its deer herd to fewer than 26 deer a square mile.
"The fact is the damage is out there," Conservation Director Denise Savageau said.
Town residents backed the program: "Our property is overwhelmed with deer," said Mark Samuel, a District 8/Cos Cob Representative Town Meeting delegate who was among the majority that approved $47,000 for the program in December. Almost every night that he walks his dog, he will see deer grazing in his front yard, which is about a block from Pomerance, Samuel said. "The deer population is still much higher than what people would say could be supported by a square mile of land," he said.
How the sharpshoot works:
Upon receipt of approval by DEP to conduct a sharp shoot cull the town notified all the abutting property owners by mail.
"In addition to posting the parks as closed, police officers are there to remind people that the parks are closed," Lash said.
Sharpshooters and police find the safest locations for the shots to be fired, such as areas that have a hill as a backdrop, said Conservation Director Denise Savageau.
Sharpshooters, who use firearms with a sound suppressor, sat on tree stands in the Babcock Preserve. At the other properties, they stood on top of pickup trucks, Savageau said. "It's more efficient," she said of the trucks. "It's easy to get in and out."
Moodus-based White Buffalo Inc., was hired by the town to conduct the sharp shoot program.
The firm's owner, Anthony DeNicola, had just finished a job in Iowa and then headed to Ohio for six weeks, where they removed 600 deer.
The actual cull took place over 6 days in March.
March 10 – 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning (March 11)
March 12 – 4 p.m. to midnight
March 14 – 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning (March 15)
March 15 – 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning (March 16)
No culling was conducted on Sunday, March 13, 2005 from midnight to midnight.
The program officially ended on March 31, 2005 with the expiration of the permit.
White Buffalo, Inc produced a report on the program which summarizes the field work and includes a detailed list of the deer taken including tag #, date, location, sex, and age. A total of 80 deer were taken from the three properties as follows:
Pomerance-Pinetum – 42
Babcock Preserve – 12
Griffith Harris Golf Course – 26
All deer were tagged and delivered to a butcher in Katonah, New York for processing. All of the venison (2400 lbs) was delivered to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.