Town officials on Block Island are calling the recent deer hunting season a success. Local hunters took down more than 400 deer.
Block Island has a high incidence of Lyme disease, transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. So last year the town of New Shoreham and the Department of Environmental Management hired a professional sharpshooting company, Connecticut-based White Buffalo, Inc., to curb the island’s large deer population. But the project fell through.
Town manager Nancy Dodge said this year the town offered resident hunters a bounty: $150 per deer tail.
“And it proved to be a good incentive,” said Dodge. “We had more deer taken—we had at least as many as had been contemplated under the White Buffalo contract.”
The professional company had guaranteed culling 200 deer and would have charged about $128,000 to complete the project.
Dodge said the local effort was so successful that the town plans to offer the bounty again for the next hunting season.
“It’s going to be a process that’s going to take a couple of years [to reduce the deer population],” said Dodge. “The deer task force has gotten enough donations from people to be able to sponsor it a second time this coming year. And we’ll take it year by year and see.”
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