The Patriot Ledger recently reported that state wildlife officials are considering adding two weeks to the beginning of archery season for hunting deer next year. What’s the purpose of this you might wonder? Well according to Mass.gov there is a definite overpopulation of whitetail deer in part of the state. While in some parts of Massachusetts there are 10-15 deer per square mile, in others there can be up to 80. The overpopulation is mostly caused by a lack of what used to be deer predators. Cougars, mountain lions, and wolves just don’t exist in areas where humans have taken over their habitat. And yet the deer actually thrive just at the edge of civilization. In suburban areas where there is likely less firearm hunting, whitetail deer love to feed on the vegetation right in our own backyards.
Why is deer overpopulation a problem?
There are several problems actually. First, the habitat simply can’t support too many deer. If 10-15 is ideal than 8 times as many throws off the balance for the sake of other animals as well as vegetation. They destroy lawns and landscaping which creates a financial burden on individuals and they cause accidents on our roadways. In deer vs. car accidents usually, everyone loses.
Secondly, the biggest problem is the rising instances of Lyme disease in the North East reaching epidemic levels. Lyme disease can devastate someone’s life and is a huge burden on the healthcare system. Lyme is transmitted by the ticks that live on these deer and it only stands to reason that more deer means more deer ticks.
Lengthening Bow Season
State officials have been holding hearings to discuss the additional hunting days throughout the beginning of March. At the moment they are only considering wildlife management zones 10-14, as they consider zones 1-9 to have manageable deer populations. Scientific research seems to support the idea that a reduction in the amount of deer will lead to a reduction in the amount of tick and tick-borne illness. The longer hunting season could be a cost-free solution for the state. Also since deer meat is an excellent food source, possibly healthier than red meat, there is value in the renewable resource.
At this point the extension does not appear to affect us at the South Shore, however on Middleborough.com,based on their published agenda, it does appear that this was discussed at the last meeting of the Board of Selectmen. This appears to be an idea in progress and at Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Mass we are following it for you. All steps taken that may have a positive effect on the eradication of Lyme disease is important to us because the health of our families is important to us.
UPDATE 3/22/18: At Monday night’s Middleboro Board of Selectman meeting, the extension of archery season for deer-hunting was unanimously approved, so it will begin two-weeks earlier than in previous years – lasting 8 weeks total.
We consider South Shore residents to be a part of our family. That’s why we are here to help on the homefront. Call us today and let’s discuss how we can protect you from ticks and mosquitoes at home with our barrier treatment and tick tube systems. We have the plan that will work best for your family.