Deer hunt idea nixed

By Blake Cass

Special to the Islander

TREMONT — Town officials have decided against pursuing the option of a limited professional hunt to help manage the deer population here.

The Board of Selectmen had asked Town Manager Chris Saunders contact the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) to find out what would be required to get approval for Tremont to institute a professional hunt.

IFW Regional Biologist Susan Bard said a professional hunt, or the “use of sharpshooters,” would require both public acknowledgment that the overpopulation deer is indeed a problem and public approval of the proposed management practice, according to Saunders.

She also indicated that the town would need to provide “sufficient personnel commitment and funding to implement the practice” and agree to “a long-term commitment to maintain deer at compatible levels.”

Saunders said he did not obtain a cost estimate, since he doubted that the selectmen would want to pursue the issue further.

“I think that Inland Fisheries and Wildlife would expect us to establish a deer committee that would contract for some kind of monitoring service that would then provide estimates of the deer population,” Saunders said in an email after the meeting. “Then that committee would determine what the right number of deer would be and manage the population accordingly.”

“Doesn’t interest me at all,” said Kevin Buck, the select board chair, after Saunders briefed the board on his findings.

“I feel the same way,” said Selectman McKenzie Jewett.

Selectman Michael Mansolilli was particularly wary of committing Tremont to the long-term management of the deer population.

“Seems to be asking a lot,” he said.

Selectmen Jamie Thurlow and Howdy Goodwin were not present. Mansolilli, Buck and Jewitt voted unanimously that Saunders no longer research the deer management issue.

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