To the Editor:
In the last six years, Newtown has lost nearly one half of the deer we had in town. With the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s unlimited harvest of our deer it is only a matter of time before they are gone from our landscape.
The future of Whitetail deer in Newtown is heavily dependent on its residents. Vision Air Research was contracted to perform a Forward Looking Infrared survey to determine the deer population in Newtown between 3 and 8 p.m. January 11 and 25. The results of this survey showed a total of 689 deer were located in 296 groups.
The FLIR survey average of 11.41 deer per square mile should be compared to the estimated 33.5 deer per square mile or 2,000-4,000 deer claimed by the DEEP for 2015.
The FLIR survey covered all Newtown’s 60.38 square miles and therefore represents a true census of its whitetail deer herd. In contrast, the DEEP transect survey for 2015 is based on surveying only 1.5 percent of Newtown.
By sampling only fractions of the town, the DEEP surveys can only reliably report the number of deer in those fractions. The DEEP attempts to extrapolate the results as town-wide numbers and as a result their numbers are grossly overstated.
Wildlife seek out preferred habitat in a town and will never be equally distributed in any town. The repeat surveys merely demonstrate that anyone can repeat the same error multiple times and get the same wrong answer.
The Newtown FLIR report for 2015 can be viewed at www.reddingnews.info.