Deer Management FAQs
Q: Why is a deer management program necessary?
A: The overpopulation of deer, due to a lack of natural predators, has resulted in significant over browsing. Over browsing results in the destruction of native habitat, which threatens the mammals and birds that depend on it. It also allows invasive species to easily take hold and cause further damage. The deer management program is in keeping with SLCT’s commitment to responsibly steward its properties. Programs like ours have a proven safety record and have been highly successful at restoring the balance of the forest.
There are additional safety benefits to the public in controlling the deer population, among them: reducing the ticks that cause Lyme disease and the risk of injuries and property damage from car/deer collisions. Due to the mobility of wildlife, these benefits extend well beyond the boundaries of our preserves.
Q: What are the effective dates of the deer management program?
A: For the 2018-2019 season, the deer management program on our Altschul and Birch Meadow preserves will be in effect from November 26, 2018 – January 31, 2019.
Q: How did SLCT decide on the effective dates?
A: Connecticut permits bow hunting on private land from September 15, 2018 – January 31, 2019. In selecting the dates for the current program, SLCT endeavored to balance the need for the program with continued sensitivity to the sentiments of some abutters and the desire to minimize the impact to recreational users of our properties.
Signage will be installed at all entrances to inform the public of the potential presence of hunters during the effective dates of the deer management program.
Q: Will the preserves be closed while the deer management program is in effect?
A: The preserves will not be closed. There will be signs posted at the access points to each preserve so the public is aware there is a deer management program underway, and hunters may be present.
Q: Who is permitted to hunt?
A: Members of the Greenwich Sportsmen and Landowners Association have been given exclusive access to hunt our two largest preserves, from November 26-January 31. This is a proven group of sportsmen, with a 100% flawless record over 12 years. No other hunter/hunting is permitted.
For more information on Greenwich Sportsmen and Landowners Association, please see http://www.greenwichbowhunters.com/
Q: What kind of hunting is allowed?
A: Only bow hunting from tree stands is permitted. This ensures that arrows are directed downward and thus minimizes their effective range.
Q: Is it safe?
A: All hunting is conducted in strict compliance with existing Connecticut hunting regulations, including but not limited to:
All hunters must be licensed in Connecticut for bow hunting
All hunters must use archery equipment that complies with state regulations
Bows and crossbows must comply with minimum draw weights
Written permission forms signed by a SLCT representative must be carried on their person while hunting
Hunting permitted ½ hour before sunrise through sunset
Q: Was the initial deer management program (2017/18) successful?
A: The Greenwich Sportsman and Landowners Association considered the program a success, based on the access they were given. The SLCT considered the program successful in furthering its stewardship objectives.
Q: What happens to the deer carcasses and deer meat?
A: The Greenwich Sportsman and Landowners Association is responsible for removal of all deer carcasses.
The deer harvested during the hunt are donated to the Fairfield County Food Bank, with SLCT assuming all costs associated with its distribution.
Q: SLCT is building an exclosure. What is that?
A: An exclosure is a limited area from which browsing animals, such as domestic cattle or wildlife, such as deer, are excluded by fencing or other means.
Q: What is the purpose of the SLCT exclosure?
A: SLCT is building a deer exclusion fence on the Altschul property. Over time, this fenced area will provide a visual example of how the understory would look if it were not over-browsed by the high population of deer on the property. The exclosure will not only allow us to observe the different plant species that grow inside the fence, it will also highlight the detrimental impact the deer have on the understory by comparing the growth within the exclosure to the lack of growth on the rest of the property.
Q: Where is the SLCT exclosure located?
A: The exclosure is located not far from the Dundee Road entrance, east of the easternmost north/south trail. Please monitor the progress with us when you are walking in the Altschul preserve.
Q: Where can I find resources to better understand deer management programs?