Weston

Town of Weston website: http://www.weston-ct.com/
Weston Animal Control 222-2642
Weston Alliance representative: pending appointment


The Town of Weston formed a Deer Committee several years ago to study all of the issues: current and desired herd density, hunting, public opinion etc.
8 years ago the deer density in Weston was 65 per square mile and the incidence of Lyme disease was rising. The Board of Health requested helicopter surveys of the deer herd which were performed in 2002 and in 2004. The herd is currently estimated to be at 28 to 34 per square mile. A number closer to 10 per square mile is considered healthier for both the environment and the community. Deer numbers at present are controlled mostly by private hunting, plus an annual controlled hunt at the Nature Conservancy's Devil's Den Preserve.

The controlled hunt press release from the Nature Conservancy includes the following information:

"Over the course of nearly 15 years as director of Devil’s Den Preserve,
Stephen Patton, Ph. D., has observed the gradual loss of native flowering
plants such as pink ladies slipper and red trillium from everywhere except
the most inaccessible ledge sites. Similarly, many of the tree species,
especially the oaks, have been unable to regenerate because acorns and
saplings are consumed by deer and are unable to mature to full size, the
release said.
Without regeneration, mature oaks will not be replaced as they die and the
ecology of the forest will change significantly, Dr. Patton said.
Research has shown that many forest wildflowers begin to decline when deer
densities exceed 10-15 per square mile; songbirds using forest ground and
shrub layers are affected (foraging, nesting, cover from predators) at
densities of 20 deer per square mile; and deer densities of 26 per square
mile have been shown to prevent regeneration in oak forests, according to
the release."