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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Urban Deer Hunting In Connecticut

I was just about to put another log on the fire when the phone rang, startling my old retriever, Buddy, from his January slumber. It was my good friend Joe Tucker from Whitetail Solutions llc.
"Got a good one this morning." Joe said matter of factly.
"How big?" I asked, knowing that Joe is a man of few words.
"He may make the book." He replied, referring to the Pope and Young record book.

Now the fact that Joe shot a big buck is not surprising. He is a very accomplished bow hunter and has harvested many good bucks. What is surprising is that Joe was hunting a 3 acre piece of land in a densely populated neighborhood!

  More and more bow hunters are discovering that urban deer hunting can pay big dividends. Nowhere is this more evident than in my home state of Connecticut, particularly Fairfield County. We have very affluent communities continuously growing and encroaching on the whitetails habitat. We also have a whitetail herd that has largely gone unchecked, continuously growing and encroaching on the homeowner’s habitat. Throw in a debilitating affliction like Lyme disease, and you have a recipe for disaster.

There are households in Fairfield County where every member of the family has had Lyme disease, largely as a result of there being lots of deer in their yard every single day. Deer are the primary host for the deer tick, and are key to the reproductive success of the tick. Numerous studies have shown that the abundance of deer ticks is directly related to deer densities.

Lyme disease is just one of the problems associated with a deer herd that grossly exceeds the carrying capacity of the land. Deer vehicle collisions have become commonplace in some Fairfield County towns. There are approximately 18,000 deer killed on Connecticut roadways in deer-vehicle collisions every year, costing an estimated $28 million in damage, and injuring hundreds of people, some fatally.

Perhaps the biggest problem with an overabundant deer population is the ecological damage. Deer eat between 5 and 10 pounds of food per day and cause literally millions of dollars in damage to ornamental planting such as shrubs, trees and flowers planted by homeowners. They can also change the composition and diversity of native plants, sometimes eliminating them all together, to the detriment of other animals in the ecosystem.

Many different methods have been tested to reduce the overabundance of deer. Some simply don't work; others prove to be way too costly. Time and again hunting proves to be the best method of controlling the deer population. However, landowners need a way to find safe, ethical hunters to help them reduce the number of deer on their property. That is where a company such as Whitetail Solutions comes in.

Started in 2004 by Joe Tucker, Dan Beyer, Chris Tucker, and Bob Mitchell, Whitetail Solutions llc now has a pro staff of 10 safe, ethical, fully licensed and insured bow hunters that specialize in reducing deer numbers in overpopulated areas, and the response has been overwhelming. They are contacted daily by landowners looking for help in managing the deer population. Of course, not every property is suitable for hunting, so they also provide alternative solutions, such as fencing and repellents.

Whitetail solutions donates the deer they harvest to Connecticut food banks and also founded the Hunt To Feed program, where Connecticut hunters can donate their deer to local food banks at no cost to the hunter. Whitetail Solutions provides the funds to pay for processing.

Businesses are started by entrepreneurs who recognize a problem and provide solutions to that problem, and Whitetail Solutions is no exception. They saw the pressing problem of a grossly overabundant deer population, and homeowners looking for a means of protecting both themselves and their property, and they provided solutions.

Landowners can contact them at for a free consultation. There is never a charge to remove deer through hunting; however you can purchase other deer deterrent products from them.

If you are a hunter, you can participate in the Find a Hunter Program. You may find yourself hunting in an area with a large deer population, and some old, well fed deer in the area, possibly the buck of a lifetime! Get involved in urban deer hunting. You'll be glad you did!

by John VanDerLaan

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