Frank G. Dwyer
December 13, 2008
The shotgun season for most of Massachusetts ends on Monday and overall the hunting has been good for Bay State sportsman. While the ice storm has slowed some areas of the state, others are still out tracking deer on the last weekend of the season.
Frank Sousa wrote a great article at the beginning of the season which does an excellent job looking at the season as compared to the size of the herd and how it relates to past seasons.
For the non-hunters that might stumble across this article, you should read at least this paragraph from Mr. Sousa's article:
"Deer density ranges from 10 whitetails per square mile in northwestern Massachusetts to 50 to 60 on Nantucket Island, where the state’s highest Lyme disease in humans is recorded. A special hunt was instituted last year at the request of residents. While animals were taken, the total was not significant enough to drastically reduce the Lyme disease threat.
Biologists estimate the deer population increases by more than 30 percent annually.
MassWildlife maintains deer densities between 10 to 30 animals per square mile, depending on habitat and deer nuisance reports.
Biologists indicated that a higher deer per mile ratio could be reached, but higher populations lead to an increase in Lyme disease, car-deer collisions, habitat destruction, and nuisance reports."