Greenwich Time doubts study of economic impact of deer

Sep 4th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Story, Lyme disease

A deer being treated with tickicide at a 4-Poster Deer Treatment Bait Station (image from the American Lyme Disease Foundation)

Sept. 4, 2010 — In latest in the ongoing battle in the press between the “Bambi killers” and the “animal rights activists” the Greenwich Time editors write that they are skeptical about the recent study — The ‘Economic Impact of Deer Overpopulation in Fairfield County, CT — which, the paper says, presents some “staggering conclusions.”

The paper points to a few things:

  • Who did the study — “strong advocates for tougher deer-management policies”
  • The methodology — the data were based in part on a “comprehensive” 2003 survey of residents in Bernards Township, New Jersey.
  • The paper article continues to address landscaping that deers destroy in the area, Lyme disease, which it calls “a more serious matter by far,” and that, based on figures from the Deer Management Alliance, 5,700 deer would need to be slaughtered to prevent Lyme disease.

Read more of the Greenwich Time’s opinion piece here:  Doubts about deer economic study – GreenwichTime.


That most divisive of doe-eyed creatures — the deer — has reared its furry white tail again and triggered a new round of public policy debate over how to control their burgeoning numbers.

A study of the issue released last week states that deer overpopulation is costing Fairfield County residents almost $180 million year in economic and environmental damage. This number works out to more than $1,000 annually for Westport and Fairfield households.

via New study triggers salvos in battle over deer control – Westport News.


The following info is from the car-accident.com web site: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries. The actual numbers are probably higher because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s figures for deer accidents, rely on inconsistent state reporting- there is no standard reporting of deer accidents in the country yet, and a “reportable deer accident” varies significantly between states.

via Lacking a plan, Stamford racks up costs from deer overpopulation – Connecticut Post.


The Greenwich Time has published two letters to the editor that were in response to another article that was published there and blogged here on this site, which is sympathetic to neither side.

The article they were responding to attempted to outline the cost of what the Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance says is an excessive number of deer.

Both letters are pro-animal. One espouses the use of the 4-Poster Deer Treatment Bait Station, which sells for about $800 and services between 50 and 100 acres. According to the American Lyme Disease Association’s website, the device has been shown to reduce tick populations by 90 percent.

The ’4-Poster’ basically consists of a central bin containing clean whole kernel corn used as a bait and two application/feeding stations located at either end of the device. As deer feed on the bait, the design of the device forces them to rub against pesticide-impregnated applicator rollers. The rollers in turn apply tickicide to their ears, heads, necks, and shoulders where roughly 90% of feeding adult ticks are attached. Through grooming, the deer also transfer the tickicide to other parts of the body. Studies (see below) have shown that use of ’4-Poster’ technology has resulted in the control of 92 to 98% of free-living tick populations in areas around the devices after three years of use.

Blaming deer doesn’t solve anything – GreenwichTime.

For Problem Deer, Think Venison, by Ken Dixon

Dixon says he would even buy into contraception, which the Darien-based Friends of Animals opposes, if it were cost-effective and could be given to does in an efficient way.

If you’re going to pay people to sneak around with dart guns to administer drugs that are good for only a couple years, you might as well let them use bow and arrows, or better yet shotguns, according to the hunters, and have a butchering program to make it easier to donate venison to food banks.

via For problem deer, think venison – Connecticut Post.

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5 Comments to “Greenwich Time doubts study of economic impact of deer”

  1. Kermit says:

    If people are so concerned with ticks that spread Lyme disease, only after getting infected by all the small mammals, why isn’t the focus on the black-legged ticks and not deer? Why are we waiting until they are infected and are able to spread the disease to us and our pets? Why aren’t we getting rid of them before they have a chance to do that?
    It seems to me that a very bakward way is used on this issue. Surely, if we can send a man to the moon, sopmeone can figure out how to stop the black-legged tick in its tracks!
    So much do about nothing – a little tick – gimme a break!
    I think I get the picture, though, it isn’t nearly as much fun to hunt for ticks than it is for deer.

  2. Regis says:

    There seems to be a lot of opposition to using proven remedies for getting rid of black-legged ticks…the 4-poster, a bait box for those small critters that carry the spirochete bacterium, and the Damminix Tubes…..gee, I wonder why that is? The DEP keeps coming up with constant objections for their use – most being absolutely ridiculous. As far as I know, no permit is required to use the Damminix Tubes, but they may also be the least effective – but, hey, something is better than nothing! It’s the tick, stupid, not the deer, and not even the small bacterium-carrying mammals that are at fault! So, why not actively go after those pesky ticks? I guess that should be obvious – without ticks, deer could no longer be blamed for all the woes of this world! the DEP could no longer collect bucks from hunting license fees, and the public might just say, at that point, why are we killing the deer? Where are those “thinking” people now?

  3. Chris says:

    I am shocked: Teresa Gallagher forgot to mention the ovenbird’s decline…this used to be the FCMDMA’s favorite excuse for killing deer. As it turned out, after some easy research, the ovenbird’s numbers are going down because its nesting grounds in South America are being used for growing coffee. Yes, they, too, lose about 50% of their flock during migration.
    I beg to differ with her on the issue of pro-animal people not caring about anyone else…caring for animals, other species and their fellow man is not mutually exclusive. Just as not all pro-hunters aren’t against animals – they are merely misinformed about having the wool pull;ed over their eyes by the powers that be!

  4. Greer Ashton says:

    Dynamics of deer populations must be understood before continuing to advocate for more hunting! Those who are in the business of propagating deer for the use of hunters, definitely know the dynamics but fail to inform the general public of their true intentions, for very good reasons.
    Just because the FCMDMA, the CT DEP and some called scientists claim that there’s a deer problem, doesn’t make it so – it all depends on their vested interest, whether financial, personal gratification, and more importantly, who hands them their payheck.
    Many bird species are on the decline, but, it isn’t as straightforward as to blame everything on deer, which seems to be very popular with those who advocate for more and more hunting. Many birds lose about 50% of their flock during migration; acid rain, pesticides, blithe, and climate change have an enormous impact on their survival rate. Every minute, thousands of species become extinct – unfortunately, it is the fault of Homo sapiens, which we would rather ignore.
    Birth control for deer has been proven effective – state wildlife agencies are lobbying against it.. They are also gainst anything that gets rid of ticks, so that deer can continue to be demonized and blamed for everything.
    I do not believe that birth cntrol is required, nor warranted – it is NOT the answer. The DEP should stop “managing” deer for maximum sustained yield (MSY).
    Deer are big business, more lucrative than hunting for any other species in CT right now, unless, of course, moose and bear hunting are added to the menu.
    Would the DEP wild life (game) “managers” cut off their noses to spite their faces? What do you think?

  5. Teresa Gallagher says:

    “What the Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance says is an excessive number of deer” – Actually, this is per the CT DEP and every environmental scientist I’ve ever spoken to.

    “Both letters are pro-animal” — Untrue. Anti-hunters are simply against hunting, and not pro-animal. If they were pro-animal then they would give equal consideration to the many, many native species, both plant and animal, that are being or have been eradicated by deer in Fairfield County. The Indigo Bunting, because it is not noticed by the “pro-animal” crowd, is cast off as undeserving and disappears because the deer have eaten the shrubs it needs to nest in. The Spicebush Swallowtail and many other native insects that rely on native plants are likewise ignored as they head toward extinction due to deer overpopulation.

    Environmentalists are in favor of deer control because the deer have destroyed our forests. Hunting (or sharp-shooting) is a sort of triage done for the greater good. Much of the forest in Fairfield County has no understory or herbaceous layer due to deer overbrowsing, or the insects and songbirds that rely on those species. There are no saplings or seedling trees. When the next ’38 hurricane strikes and knocks over most of the mature trees, there will be no trees to replace them.

    In addition, many homeowners are stripping their lots of vegetation, planting grass only, and then applying toxic insecticides over the entire property because of their fear of ticks. This activity harms the watershed and poisons the ecosystem.

    I am not a hunter, and if birth-control could be improved so that it were effective, I would be in favor of it. And I favor research dollars for improving birth-control techniques, because hunting and sharpshooting is politically difficult . Until then, the only effective option we have is to shoot the deer. Humans are responsible for eradicating the predators that historically kept deer in check, and we have a responsibility to the other plants and animals of the forest to correct that imbalance.

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