By a majority, town meeting voters rejected a citizens' petition to ban bow hunting on town owned land.
The town of Weston made the announcement on its official Twitter feed at 10:10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15. As a result, hunters will continue to be allowed to hunt on five parcels of town-owned land.
The vote comes after the Weston Conservation Commission recommended continuing the bow hunting program which is intended to curtail the burgeoning deer population in Weston. The program started in fall 2012 when five parcels of town land were opened for hunting by town-approved hunters.
"If deer are allowed to proliferate unchecked, Weston’s forests will lose hardwood saplings, spring wildflowers, and low growing shrubs. This impoverished ecosystem, in turn, will adversely affect numerous other wildlife species, including ground- and shrub-nesting song birds, amphibians, and insects," the Conservation Commission said on its website.
In 2012, hunters reported killing 18 deer on town-owned land, including 10 does and eight bucks.
The Weston Board of Health also supports continuing to allow bow hunting saying it would help prevent and curtail Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, according to the town website.
Opponents of bow hunting, however, have cited several factors for allowing the program. Weston resident Isabella Jancourtz, previously objected to town officials backing what she called a "bloody slaughter." Another Weston resident has said allowing bow hunting could pose a danger to anybody who lives near designated hunting areas.