Boston Anti-Hunters Are Up In Arms Over This Proposal

Written by Outdoor Beasts Staff on November 23, 2015

As much as we report on anti-hunters you’d think we’d start to understand their train of thought.

Uh, no.

They don’t make sense.

None at all.

Boston Anti-Hunters Are Up In Arms Over This Proposal

BOSTON — A plan to allow hunting in state forestland within sight of downtown Boston to thin the deer population is coming under fire from activists who insist that contraception and other more humane methods be used.

The hunt in the Blue Hills Reservation is needed to reduce a deer population estimated at 85 per square mile, far above the ideal of six to 18, according to state wildlife biologists. Hunting has not been allowed in the park since the state set it aside for public recreational use in 1893.

The deer are a threat to public safety and to the forest ecosystem, said Matthew Sisk, the deputy commissioner of the State Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees the park. The area is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers.

The plan is to allow 98 hunters, armed only with shotguns, in the reservation for each two-day hunting session — Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, and Dec. 7-8. Only about 3,000 of the reservation’s 7,000 acres will be open to them. Hunters will be allowed to take up to six deer, and the goal is to get down to the ecologically stable level of fewer than 20 deer per square mile, which state officials acknowledge may not be reached this year.

“The problem that is most vexing to me is forest health,” Mr. Sisk said. “You can see 250 to 300 yards into the woods, and that is not healthy. The deer are eating the under-canopy of the forest.” That, in turn, threatens other wildlife and plant species, he said.

There have been increased reports of vehicles striking deer in recent years, and under current conditions the forest is more prone to fires, Mr. Sisk said, which could threaten homes in the densely populated suburbs that surround the reservation.

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