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How Do You Feel About Deer Hunting in Weston?

Deer hunting season began last week.

which may not be sitting well with everyone.

There are five designated areas in Weston where deer hunting with a bow and arrow is legal.

The season in Massachusetts is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31. Are you OK with deer hunting activity in Weston? Tell us in the comments.

Isabella Jancourtz October 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Our town forests have always been a sanctuary for man and beast. I oppose turning them into killing fields, with bow hunters in tree stands inflicting brutal injury and death on God's gentle creatures, the deer.
Diane Anderson October 25, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I oppose bow hunting in Weston for three reasons... 1. It is dangerous to hunt in a suburban area where the woods are filled with hiking trails. 2. It is extremely cruel - Half of the deer who are hit by arrows don't die right away. Some linger in pain for days! 3. It is ineffective at lowering the rate of Lyme Disease and may even cause more people to contract the disease because the ticks will be looking for a new secondary host. If you would like to join a group of Weston residents who want to end bow hunting please email westondeerfriends@gmail.com and sign our petition on this link http://www.change.org/petitions/make-hunting-in-weston-ma-illegal. We want to promote safety and compassion in Weston.
Ami Kuan Danoff October 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I support bow hunting in Weston for three (of many) reasons: 1. It is safe to bowhunt in a suburban area such as Weston. Bowhunting has always been allowed on private land in Weston, and has been introduced to town land in neighboring suburbs such as Dover with NO incidence of injury. There is no reason to believe that this long safety record should suddenly change, especially with the stringent measures which Weston has put into place for bowhunting on town land. My house abuts hiking trails which are the access for one of the five new monitored town lands open to bowhunting of deer, and I have complete confidence that it will continue to be safe for me and my family. 2. Non-partisan and humane sources including Massachusetts Audubon acknowledge that our deer population is at record levels due to declines in hunting and natural predation. Our building out of Weston forests has reduced deer habitats while crowding out natural predators such as coyotes. Unnaturally high deer population densities as we are currently experiencing in Weston and other Massachusetts towns result in "cruel" and "lingering" deer deaths due to starvation, auto collision and disease. TBC
Ami Kuan Danoff October 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM
3. Reducing the deer population through means including hunting is absolutely effective in reducing the rate of Lyme disease among our neighbors. This has been closely and exhaustively examined in non-partisan epidemiological studies by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Please read studies including http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/resources/handbook.pdf. The assertion that reducing deer populations may lead to an increase in the incidence of Lyme disease in people is false, alarmist and wholly contradicted by CDC studies. I welcome rational and supported arguments both in favor of and against bow-hunting of deer on town land in Weston, but to introduce false and unfounded arguments weakens and undermines our civic discourse. Ethical and sustainable hunting has long been part of our heritage and a key force in American conservation movements. Painting ethical licensed bow-hunters as people bent on turning Weston's forests into "killing fields, with bow hunters in tree stands inflicting brutal injury and death on God's gentle creatures, the deer" is false and slanderous of our neighbors.
Ami Kuan Danoff October 26, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Finally, to equate the legal hunting of deer in Weston with the genocidal slaughter of more than 2 million people in the Vietnamese killing fields is abhorrent and trivializing of human life. Before you start invoking "killing fields" in your argument, please comprehend what you are saying.
Tom Anderson December 08, 2012 at 03:01 AM
I agree it would be nice to have rational and supported arguments. I just wish the "studies" were not misrepresented. I just finished reading the study cited above. It in fact does NOTsay that reducing the deer population through means including hunting is absolutely effective in reducing the rate of Lyme Disease. What is does say is that in some limited situations (almost exclusively islands and peninsulas), there are cases where they have measure a reduction in ticks where there are very large reducction in the deer population. They go on to say that "it is not clear if a deer population can be reduced suficiently to achieve a satisfactory level of tick control in more densely populated areas on the mainland." The study further goes on to describe more effective methods for controling and reducing Lyme Disease. It is also well documented that Bow Hunting is a particularly cruel method of killing deer. Numerous studies report that even proficient deer hunters have a quick kill rate of only about 50%. In this case, quick kill still means the deer "bleeds out" over many minutes. To use an arguement that it is ok to use a cruel method to kill deer because the deer might die a cruel death some other way (starvation, car accident) is troubling to the core. Finally, if we really want to reduce the number of deer hit by cars, we should simply enforce the speed limit.

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