The Nature Conservancy’s deer management effort at Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston and Redding draws to a close this week. The Den is closed to the public Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4, while the conservancy conducts a shotgun and rifle controlled deer hunt on those days.
The deer hunt is taking place only in select areas of the preserve’s interior, away from the edges of the preserve and any neighboring residences.
The conservancy is working with experienced sportsmen, who are donating venison from the hunt to Hunters for the Hungry, a statewide nonprofit group that accepts donations of venison for distribution to local charities and food pantries.
The controlled hunt is part of the conservancy’s deer management effort, which began in 2001.
The high density of deer in southwestern Connecticut has been associated with a high incidence of deer-and-vehicle accidents and Lyme disease cases. The Nature Conservancy has been particularly concerned about the ecological damage to the region’s forests caused by the excessive browsing of overabundant deer.
The conservancy says forest conditions have improved in those areas where lands have been under management for the longest periods of time.
The public is asked to refrain from visiting the preserve on days on which the hunt is being conducted.