February 1, 2023

Ridgefield Lays Plans For Deer Hunt

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For the first time in over 30 years, deer hunting will begin on town-owned property in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Once you look over the plans and the requirements to become eligible to hunt the deer, you would sooner think that you were trying to get a job working for the FBI.

The Deer Management Committee’s plan calls for 15 hunters to be chosen from the pool of applicants to participate in the hunt.
Hunters must pass a rigorous background check by both the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Ridgefield Police, and will be required to receive proficiency certification from both the Department of Environmental Protection and a certified firearms or bow instructor.

Back on May 31, townspeople voted to overturn an ordinance that banned deer hunting on town land by an overwhelming majority. The Deer Management Committee went to work to come up with a plan that they say will build confidence with the public rather than substantially reduce numbers. Tom Belote is chairman of the Deer Management Committee.

This first year will be a pilot program, according to Mr. Belote.  “This year, we’re not concerned with numbers — we want to build public confidence,” he said.

Hunters will have to log in and out with the Ridgefield police and report all kills and any wounded deer. Shooting will have to take place in tree stands and hunters will be armed with either a bow, shotgun or muzzleloader.

The 400 acre site will be well marked and posted. Here is a description of the permitting process.

All hunters will be given tags to hunt three deer to start, two doe tags and one buck tag.  For each doe they kill, they will receive an additional doe tag, and for each two doe they kill, they will receive an additional buck tag. 

And if all of the above rules aren’t enough, here are a few more.

Hunters will be allowed to hunt only on weekdays, to lower the odds of children wandering into the hunt site.  Hunting will be banned on weekends and school holidays, a policy which will be enforced strictly by Hunt Master Stefano Zandri, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Ridgefield police, who will be present at all hunts.
The hunting zone will be well marked with posters around the perimeter and at various points inside to warn off hikers, and all neighboring landowners will be notified by mail of the dates of the hunts.  During the gun season, the area will be closed to all but official personnel and hunters. 

Final approval is expected by the Ridgefield Board of Selectmen.

*Previous Posts*

Ridgefield, Connecticut Residents Say, “Let The Hunting Begin” 

When Politics Rules Deer Management

Connecticut Town to Decide on Deer Hunt

Tom Remington