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OP-ED | State Environmental Agency Holds Key To Lyme Disease

by David Streit | Aug 26, 2011 5:08pm
(4) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Opinion

Lyme and tick diseases are ravaging Fairfield County. As a result lives and families are being destroyed and careers are being ruined each day.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has identified deer as the primary culprit. In order for an adult deer tick to mature and reproduce it must feed on a large mammal. A recent analysis of ticks showed that 94 percent of all adult deer ticks had fed on a deer. An aerial DEP survey taken in January 2011 showed that deer density levels in Fairfield County went from 64 to 76 deer per square mile in the past 2 years. Towns that have restored deer densities back to 10 to 12 deer per square mile have experienced a decrease in ticks and tick diseases of 95 percent. It is a simple equation.

The DEEP has it within their power to protect humans rather deer. The majority of DEEP regulations protect deer and not humans. The DEEP needs to experience a sea change in the way they view deer. 

Private landowners should be permitted to harvest deer year round in order to help get deer numbers under control and in order to protect their families. Hunters need to be able to use sound reducers as many states do to limit the obnoxious blast of a gun, to protect a hunters hearing and to improve accuracy.  Licensing fees need to be waived to promote deer management. 

There needs to be a single set of regulations that regulate all firearm use. The firearm season needs to extend the entire length of the hunting season. Crop damage permits need to accommodate organic gardeners that merely want to provide for their families. The use of jacklight permits needs to be liberalized. There is so much the DEEP could do but to date has been reluctant to change.

Everyone that has suffered from Lyme disease needs to send a letter or email to the Commissioner of the DEEP Daniel Esty and request regulatory relief from the regulations that protect deer and not humans. Unfortunately it has become a big business for both the state and for companies that sell hunting supplies. 

A recent study last year suggested that high deer density numbers are costing approximately $1,100 per household in Fairfield County. This money would be much better spent on schools, infrastructure repair and incentives for companies to hire again.

While Hartford dithers people wither. Lyme and tick related diseases can be greatly reduced if we simply reign in archaic regulations that protect deer and not humans. Without your help nothing will change.

David Streit is the chairman and Redding representative of the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance.

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(4) Comments

posted by: cbailey | August 26, 2011  7:56pm

DEEP regulations are what permitted the deer herd in Faifield County to get out of control.  Fewer regulations mean fewer deer. I have to wonder when Lyme sufferer’s will file a suit against the state protecting deer rather than people.  It is time to get outraged that people continue to suffer needlessly.

posted by: bob8/57 | August 27, 2011  2:41pm

Dubious facts and unrealistic solutions.

The use of silencers will not “improve accuracy” nor do other states allow them.

Allowing unlicensed hunting by “landowners” is never good policy from a public safety perspective.

The claim that deer cost Fairfield County households $1,100 apiece is absurd on it’s face and if the alleged study exists it should be cited by name to allow people to judge it’s veracity, or lack there of.

Hunting will not bring deer populations under control. The only safe and reliable way to control deer populations is through a cull, where experienced hunters are paid to kill deer.  The problem with this solution in a democracy is that most people will be against it.

posted by: sickofit | August 27, 2011  7:48pm

Mr. Streit’s suggestions go from too much regulation to none. Isn’t there something in between? Having firearms hunting throughout the hunting season sounds like a recipe for disaster. Bow hunters and turkey hunters dress in camo, while firearms hunters are required to where blaze orange. You don’t want gun hunters in the woods with guys that are trying their best at concealment. Also, he wants to allow jacking deer??? That’s crazy! How about slightly lengthening the shotgun season and allowing 2 or 3 deer to be harvested instead of one as in most areas. Increase the number of areas with specialty hunts to reduce deer numbers where they are a problem. Reducing hunting fees for those choosing to hunt in Fairfield county or where the problem is the greatest to encourage hunters to hunt there. Where is this study that says that “high deer density numbers are costing approximately $1,100 per household in Fairfield County?” Nevermind, I don’t think I would believe it anyway. He is all over the place with his arguement, one minute making an emotional deer against human argument, then saying this imaginary $1100 should be used for schools infrastructure and jobs. Well, who the hell is going to argue against that? Except that it is irrelevant, based on nonsense and emotion. He also want to “waive licensing fees to promote deer management.” Where does he think the money comes from to manage deer, fish and wildlife… from licensing fees (use to be 100% went into wildlife managment until Rell decided to put in into the General Fund to balance her fake budget. But that’s a rant for another day.).
Oh, for the record, I am a hunter. I just don’t think over-reacting and trying to massacre all the deer in one or two years is the answer. It takes thoughtful management by professional biologists and wildlife managers to do the job wisely over a number of years.

posted by: sickofit | August 27, 2011  10:25pm

bob8/57 says: “The only safe and reliable way to control deer populations is through a cull, where experienced hunters are paid to kill deer.  The problem with this solution in a democracy is that most people will be against it.”
Yes, this is done every few years a Bluff Point, Groton. All the locals are for it, but outsiders come to protest every time.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/07/nyregion/bluff-point-deer-problem-spurs-a-thorny-debate.html