On November 7, 2012, the Board of Fox Fields Association, Inc., unanimously voted to institute deer population management measures complementary to those being undertaken by Radnor Township, and several of our neighboring homeowners associations in Radnor Township. We have authorized Chester Valley Deer Management Association (CVDMA) access to the open space adjacent to the Blue Route along Ithan Creek for bow hunting to reduce the herd on our property.
CVDMA was recommended to the Board by the Radnor Township Police Department. CVDMA has been authorized by the Cornerstone homeowners association to hunt on its open space in the wooded areas adjacent to Blue Route along the Ithan Creek. It has been hunting on Cornerstone property for several weeks. We have instructed CVDMA to limit its activities at present on Fox Fields open space to the wooded ravine area adjacent to the Ithan Creek and the Blue Route.
As noted, CVDMA was recommended by the Radnor Police. They have been engaged or are in the process of being engaged by several other homeowners associations in our area, and are presently hunting on Cornerstone’s property. They are also one of two groups Tredyffrin Township has authorized to undertake bow hunting in its township parks. See http://www.tredyffrin.org/police/animal/deer.aspx .
The deer are not baited by CVDMA as is the case in certain sharpshooter hunts. It is a more limited program of bow hunting, recommended by both the Township and the USDA as a complementary measure to the measures (sharpshooter hunts) being under taken on public lands to bring the deer population back to more sustainable levels. These population control measures are contemplated to be beneficial to both the deer population and the human communities in our area.
CVDMA is a nonprofit, and works at no charge to Fox Fields. It is fully insured. It will donate to charities benefitting the needy and homeless any venison harvested through this program. More about CVDMA appears later in this post, but first we will discuss information about the current deer population crisis in Radnor and neighboring townships.
The Radnor Township Board of Supervisors on June 20, 2012, enacted a resolution to institute a deer culling program on public lands within the township. According to Main Line Media News:
The recommendation is a result of a recent study involving the police department and the USDA’s Wildlife Services division under the direction of the board’s Public Safety Subcommittee. The study is in the wake of an increase in deer-related incidents over the past several years. Last year 144 deer incidents were reported to police, the majority of which involved automobiles.
The deer-density study indicated that the current deer density in the township was 101 per square mile while the desirable level of deer density should be 30 per square mile.
In addition a February 2010 Natural Lands Trust assessment within the Darby Creek headwaters determined the township’s woodlands in this area were in jeopardy because of an overabundant deer population.
Residents have also complained about damage to their properties as well as high rates of Lyme disease.
The resolution calls for a three-pronged approach to controlling the deer.
One component is educating landowners on strategies they can take to minimize human conflict with deer and control the damage deer can cause to people and property such as planting in gardens varieties of flora intolerable to deer.
The second component is professional culling. The township will enter into a contract with the USDA to hire sharpshooters. The culling plan entails 10 nights of deer-culling at a cost not to exceed $50,000. The price tag includes removing and preparing the deer carcasses and delivering them to a processor for butchering.
The third and last component is Radnor not objecting to legal and permitted hunting on private lands during hunting season in Pennsylvania.
See Radnor Board of Commissioners OKs Deer Cull, June 20, 2012. See http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2012/06/20/main_line_suburban_life/news/doc4fe1f1ac888bb617102325.txt?viewmode=fullstory .
Radnor Township action followed a study by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Township, titled White-tailed Deer Management Plan for Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, published April 2012. See http://www.radnor.com/egov/docs/1336155582_186462.pdf . In the study, the USDA summarized its recommendations as follows:
• Continue monitoring, including standardized deer population surveys, maintain records of deer-vehicle collisions and other incidents involving deer, and gauge deer-human conflicts by communication with residents. Select deer management actions based on these indices.
• Promote hunting wherever safe and legal. Persistently encourage landowners to allow access to hunters. Where suitable, open public properties to regulated sport-hunting.
• Consider implementing professional deer removal via sharpshooting to reduce deer densities consistent with goals in a reasonable timeframe.
• Continue educational efforts. Upon the request of Radnor Township, WS is available to assist with education, continued monitoring of deer management goals, and implementation of deer management actions.
Hence, both Radnor Township and the USDA have recommended that private landowners allow deer hunting on their lands as a complement to the professional deer removal via sharpshooters planned on township properties as part of a complementary program for deer population management in our area.
The following is a more information furnished to us by CVDMA concerning the background of the organization and its plans for deer hunting on Fox Fields open space.
- CVDMA hunters will not go on anyone’s individual property without explicit permission from the individual homeowner.
- Hunters will monitor the herd’s pattern of activity and place tree stands at locations along the deer’s trail, in the open space/common area.
- Deer meat will be donated to charitable organizations to provide food for needy families.
- CVDMA will use only bow and arrows and will shoot from tree stands towards the ground, i.e., no horizontal shooting that could go near homeowner property. All shooting will be done in a 20 yard radius of their tree stands.
- CVDMA is composed of members of our local community. Stephen Grabuski is the president of the organization and a graduate of Radnor High School.
- CVDMA also includes a member of the township police force.
- There will be a 50 yard buffer between the hunt zone and individual property lines.
- CVDMA will be responsible to remove all deer that are shot from our property.
- This is deer population reduction, not elimination.
- CVDMA is fully insured.
- CVDMA members will use marked vehicles with a large yellow placard providing the hunters identification #. The Homeowners Board will receive a list of CVDMA members with their vehicle identification #s, names, and cell phone numbers.
- The hunting will occur during Pennsylvania deer hunting season between now and January and will generally occur in the sunrise/sunset hours. As the hunters may be in the common area woods down by the Blue Route during these hours, please advise your family members to stay out of the woods during those times.