Deer hunt eyed

TREMONT — Town officials are trying to decide the best approach to address what many see as an overpopulation of deer.

At both of their last two meetings, selectmen requested that Town Manager Chris Saunders look into hunting options to cull what seems to be ever-increasing deer population in the town. At the most recent meeting, on Monday, they asked Saunders to focus specifically on the option of an expanded archery season.

At the request of the select board following its Jan. 22 meeting, Saunders spoke with a biologist from the state’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife division to explore the town’s options for deer management.

He was told that a town can either restore the full suite of deer hunting or not at all. Restoring the full suite would involve opening the town up to deer hunting during all of the state’s regulated seasons. These include archery in October, firearms in November and a two-week muzzle loader hunt after the November season.

It would be possible to restrict the type and time of hunting for the first two years of implementation, according to the biologist, but after that it would be open season, Saunders reported.

“I say no, then,” said Selectman Jamie Thurlow.

Fire Chief Keith Higgins explained there are other towns along the coast of Maine that only have an expanded archery season, one being Castine.

“There are other alternatives than what they explained to you,” Higgins said to Saunders and the board.

Resident Mark Fink, a Tremont resident, said the town went through this process three or four years ago.

“Whatever you come up with, it has to comply with their management system,” he said, referring to IFW. All of MDI is closed to deer hunting under current state law.

“People need to decide, do we or do we not have a deer problem?”

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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