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Be Safe Newtown
Newtown residents seeking a Lyme-free Newtown with deer-free roads,
a recovery of the woodlands and the return of native plant and bird
species within 5 years

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Deer Tick Nymph

Program Metrics and Progress

The goals that many residents have identified and are hoping to achieve are a reduction in deer vehicle accidents, reduction in woodland and landscape destruction, and a reduction in ticks and Lyme cases.

An important aspect of a science-based program to control deer populations is regular reassessment of progress and monitoring of the measures available to assess the achievement of goals.
All practical and available parameters will be monitored and assessed periodically for progress. This program is not for the benefit of sport hunters, it is for the benefit of the entire community.  Hunters in this program are providing a community service and giving freely of their time. As soon as the program reaches its goals then it goes into its maintenance phase. It is far easier to maintain a low deer density than a high one as there are fewer deer reproducing each year.  This has been the case in the successful programs in Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The maintenance phase requires fewer hunters and a system of rotating hunters through different properties every few years. This phase will also be monitored to make sure vehicle accidents stay low and tick populations stay low.

From the hunters' point of view the situation in 3 to 5 years will be more like hunting was 40 years ago when it was a challenge to track and find deer in the woods, a real sport that required different skills from the population control in residential backyards of today.

Parameters

The town has been asked to commit to continuing counting ticks annually or biennially at several locations around Newtown through cooperation between the University of New Haven and the health department and that the Police Department continue to be vigilant in their reporting and counting of dead deer found by the road and vehicle accidents involving a deer.

Unlike many early failed efforts to control deer this is NOT a hunting program, it is a GOAL-oriented program to rid Newtown of the dangers of ticks and deer on the roads and the damaging effects of deer overbrowsing the natural areas. It has a 3 to 5 year time frame that hopes to see benefits while your kids are still kids and before your soon-to-be learner driver teenagers are exposed to the dangers of deer on the roads.


BeSafeNewtown Metrics
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Tick Infection na 70% 96% - - -
Lyme Cases 36 62 79 31 25 -
Deer Vehicle Accidents 95 99 - - - -
Road kill 21 17 20 12 14 -
Hunting 315 360 318 352 270 -
Deer Density Estimate 59* -- 70 -- 104 -

BeSafeNewtown began in 2012 so above information is for historical purposes only.

DVA's in Newtown have been declining slowly since 2000, the high point was 128 in 2001. Average for 2000-2008 was 110/yr.




Public Health is perhaps the
most important reason to want
to get deer numbers under
control"
Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials.
March 2008

Last Modified: 21 April 2015 09:28 MST

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