The Town of Guilford Conservation Commission at its August meeting has selected 10 bow hunters to be part of the deer management program at the East River Preserve. The bow hunting on East River Preserve will be conducted between 4:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. from October 15th to November 15th 2018. No deer control will be conducted on the weekends or on days that school is not in session.
The bow hunters who have been selected to be part of the deer management program have passed a proficiency test, have attended a safety meeting, and have a permit to hunt the property. Please note that only approved bow-hunters are allowed to hunt the East River Preserve Property. Hunting with a rifle or shotgun is strictly forbidden and illegal. Staff from the Town of Guilford Natural Resources Department will be monitoring this program. If you observe any illegal activities or hunting at times not approved by the deer management plan please contact the Guilford Police Department at 203-453-8061.
The East River Preserve will be open to the public while the deer control is being conducted. The public using the preserve during this time period should wear safety orange or bright colored clothing. Dog owners are reminded that Guilford Town Ordinance requires dogs to be on a leash when on town property including the open space properties.
The primary concern for the Conservation Commission is for the biological health of the land as well as the welfare and safety of its residents and visitors. The deer management plan was developed as a part of the recommendations of the East River Preserve Management Plan approved by the Board of Selectman in January 2012 which developed goals to ensure that the ecological values and uses of this protected open space are managed to sustain and, where necessary, restore the property’s natural resource values by conserving a diverse and healthy suite of habitats. Research conducted on the property by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has documented deer browse damage at the East River Preserve. Long term research areas are currently being installed to study the long term effect of the management program. While deer are a welcome member of a healthy habitat, too many deer can severely damage an ecosystem such as ours.
The Conservation Commission is confident that our effort to reduce the number of resident deer will improve the ecological and biological condition of the land. Anyone with questions about the program can contact Kevin Magee, Town of Guilford Environmental Planner at 203-453-8074.