The incidence of tick related diseases is on the rise in CT This is the direct result of an overabundant deer herd. The most recent DEEP deer density survey taken on January 2012 suggested that Fairfield County had approximately 76 deer per square mile. That is an increase from 64 deer per square mile 2 years prior.
Communities that have successfully restored deer densities to 10-12 deer per square mile have experienced a drop in Lyme disease of 95%. Ticks simply fail to breed when deer are spread too thin for the ticks' high reproductive feeding needs. Other towns have appealed to DEEP for similar help in achieving this same disease-preventing level of deer reduction but so far to no avail. So what is standing between public health and high deer densities?
DEEP wildlife regulations! Deer are protected for 7 ½ months out of the year by the hunting season. If the DEEP were to allow private landowners to remove deer on their own property year round these deer numbers could be brought under control by motivated landowners. Why should landowners be forced to play host to deer 7 ½ months out of the year when they pose a lethal threat to our children? Hundreds of thousands of tick eggs drop from a single deer each year as it grazes on our plants and vegetables in our back yards. No sooner have the deer fed overnight and in the morning in our yards, dropping thousands of tick eggs and our children go out to play.
In addition, many of these ticks are now carrying co-infections that can be more serious even than Lyme disease. Our public health and safety is at increasing risk. We need to make it safe for kids to go outside again to hike and play rather than be forced to stay indoors dependent on electronic devices each day. Perhaps the DEEP could be encouraged to include humans as part of the environment they are paid by taxpayers to protect.
Please call Daniel Esty at 800-424-3571 or email him at Daniel.Esty@ct.gov and tell him that you support private landowners being permitted to remove deer year round on their own property until deer are restored to 10-12 deer per square mile. Your call counts.