Darien

Kent Haydock


DARIEN: In 1997 in an effort to regain environmental balance, Darien's 
First Selectman, Henry Sanders formed the Darien Deer Management Committee
and appointed Kent Haydock as Chair. With virtually no firearms allowed, and few
large tracts available for hunting, the Committee still relies on private landowners
to give permission for bow hunting in season. The Committee acts as intermediary
between parties in need and qualified bow hunters.
Through extensive public education via presentations, meetings, resident surveys,
and informative newspaper articles, Darien earned a special citation from the DEP
for its 15 fold increase in deer harvests over five years. The Committee continues to work toward gaining hunter access to large, protected, deer spawning grounds.
Darien's 15 square miles currently harbor at least 600 deer in an area that can only support 150 deer in an environmentally sustainable way. The woodlands lose plant and bird species while there are excess deer destroying the habitat and food resources of the Land Trust land and the few remaining town open spaces. Planned deer mangement aims to redress this imbalance.
 
Website:   www.ci.darien.ct.us/town officials

SUMMARY OF 2006 Darien Deer Management Committee Report
ON DEER CULL IN SELLECK’S WOODS (public)
And DARIEN LAND TRUST’S DUNLAP WOODS
 
The fall 2006  deer cull was sanctioned by the  Darien Park & Recreation Commission and the Darien Land Trust.
Eight deer were harvested in eight days. All 350 pounds of ground venison went to local homeless shelters, funded by the Town.
Local support for effective deer management remains very strong. The Committee again thanks the hunters, town officials and stewards of the parks for their understanding of the needs, and for facilitating action. Two recent Darien surveys involving 442 respondents show that just 8% to 15% disapprove of culling in such large tracts.

While the cull numbers are not large in view of results from culls in certain other towns, the cull is noteworthy. It marks the second time the stewards of town-owned land have taken direct action to restore greatly over-foraged woodlands; and for the first time, The Darien Land Trust has sanctioned a cull, as The Trust joined its adjacent, Dunlap Woods for the combined cull in about 50 acres. The culls also help increase public understanding of local needs.
Further, First Selectwoman Evonne Klein has initiated new efforts in deer management by the town health department to further report and control deer-tick borne disease.
Incidentally, the hunters found a surprisingly high number of deer ticks for November.

As in other woodlands in our area, these parks have been long over-foraged, as anyone may readily note by site inspection, or by asking professional arborists.

PUBLICITY: Near neighbors were notified by mail, and the yellow park entry signs with caution tapes were placed conspicuously by Chris Filmer on behalf of the parks.
PROPOSALS FOR the future:  We will look forward to further guidance from the principals involved.

Respectfully submitted, Kent Haydock, Chair, 
Darien Deer Management Committee
 

WHAT MORE COULD BE DONE?

The Alliance strongly encourages towns suffering from the effects of deer overpoulation to enlist the free help and advice of the CT DEP on how to effectively reduce nuisance deer numbers. DEP simply require an official letter from the town asking for their advice. The Towns of Redding and Brookfield are currently working with the DEP to come up with affordable, safe and humane solutions to deer overpopulation in their residential areas in order to reduce their deer-vehicle accident rates, high number of tick borne illnesses and environmental destruction by excess deer. Any proposal by the DEP is obviously subject to approval by the town.