Deer Hunters answer call to cull herd - Newstimes
WhiteTail Solutions



Article posted February 2006
Deer hunters answer calls to cull herd By Susan Tuz THE NEWS-TIMES

WhiteTail Solutions is a group of four bow hunters who cull deer on private property
in Ridgefield. From left is Bob Mitchell, Chris Tucker, Joe Tucker and Dan Beyer.
RIDGEFIELD — One neighborhood has turned to a group of longtime hunters to
reduce the deer herd roaming through their backyards. Margaret Eustace and eight
of her neighbors enlisted the help of White Tail Solutions after Eustace's daughter
contracted Lyme disease for the second time from a deer tick.
"We're overrun with deer here," said Eustace, who lives less than a mile from Main
Street. "I'm a gardener, and I see the damage every day."
The group, which is comprised of Dan Beyer, Bob Mitchell, Chris Tucker and Joe
Tucker, hunts deer with bows and arrows on private property with the owner's
request.
The four men have been culling Ridgefield's over-populated deer herd for the past
seven years but officially formed White Tail Solutions in June. The group also has
offered their opinion to the town's Deer Committee that assesses the problem of deer
overpopulation and arrives at solutions.
"We have noticed a considerable decrease in the population of deer that frequent
these few parcels where we have harvested," Beyer said. "As the state has become
more lenient with its replacement tag system, we have become more aggressive in
assisting in managing the deer population."
White Tail Solutions meets with residents, reviews their land and explains their
process of bow hunting. Deer taken during the hunts are donated to soup kitchens,
food banks, the South Salem Wolf Conservancy and the Seymour Fish & Game Club.
In the last bow hunting season, the group harvested 66 deer in Ridgefield, and they
hunted for more than 1,000 hours over 80 days. In the previous season, they had
harvested 42 deer in town, Beyer said.
Mitchell said Ridgefield needs bow hunting because there isn't room for rifle hunting
with the proximity of residences.
"There needs to be culling of the herd just based on what we see alone not to
mention the DEP figures," said Mitchell, who works for a heating and air conditioning
company "We harvested in one particular parcel this year and removed 14 to 15
deer. And can still count 10 to 20 deer passing through at a given day's sitting. It's
amazing."
The hunters of White Tail Solutions know their solution to the town's deer problem is
not popular in all corners of the community.
"We understand that harvesting an animal is not agreeable in everyone's eyes and
respect that," said Beyer, who is an international sales manager for an ecological
company. "We are very discreet and work with landowners that may have small
children to keep our visibility to a minimum."
Ridgefield resident Lynda Walke, who lives on Old Sib Road, is not convinced
hunting is necessary in the town and worries about how qualified and how safe the
group's hunting practices are.
"I don't see the big deer problem," Walker said. "Yes, there are deer-motor vehicle
accidents in town. But I live on Old Sib road, and if anyone other than my husband
and myself drive the speed limit, I'd be surprised. This road is a 'yahoo speedway.'
Yes, deer are killed here but it's how people are driving that causes the incidents."
Walkers said she also questions who these men of White Tail Solutions are.
"I question how it got to this point in Ridgefield, where hunting on open space is
being considered. I wonder if these hunters show records of who they are. We're just
letting people come into our properties and kill," Walker said. "Who asks 'Who are
they?'"
But the group has worked well for Eustace and her neighbors.
"They were extremely efficient," Eustace said. "I don't believe any of the neighbors
would have known they were here, if we hadn't gone to them before hand."
To learn more about White Tail Solutions go to www.whitetailsolutionsllc.com . The
site sells clothes and hats. Fencing and radio frequency devices to chase deer away
soon will be for sale.