The Weston Conservation Commission voted last night to finalize a set of regulations to permit bow hunting of deer in town-owned forests and plans to present the rules to the Board of Selectmen on Monday, according to Conservation Administrator Michele Grzenda.
The Commission has proposed bow hunting for deer on town-owned conservation land as a way to reduce what it says is the town’s burgeoning deer population. The idea has met with resistance from residents who worry that allowing bow hunters to stake out forests where residents walk and play is dangerous, and that bow hunting is inhumane.
The regulations, available in draft form here, would limit the number of permits the town would issue as well as limiting hunting to specifically designated areas: Jericho Town Forest, Ogilvie Town Forest, Dickson Field, Blaney Aquifier and the Sears Land.
The Commission would be able to close any parcel to hunters at any time, and to cancel hunting entirely for any reason. All hunters will be required to pass a proficiency test.
The bow-hunting season would follow state standards and run from Oct. 15 through Dec. 31. The state does not allow hunting on Sundays, and prohibits the shooting of guns or arrows within 150 feet of a roadway or 500 feet of a building.
Hunters will be required to carry photo identification, licenses, permits and maps of approved hunting locations at all times. They must be prepared to show them to anyone who asks.
No night-vision or low-light devices will be allowed.
Hunters will only be allowed to hunt deer, and all deer killed must be reported to the Commission either within 24 hours or by 5 p.m. the next day, whichever is later.
Hunting in Weston is currently only allowed on private property with the permission of the landowner.
The Conservation Commission’s proposal needs approval from the board of selectmen before bow hunting can begin in Weston. At a meeting last month, the board backed the concept but declined to give approval without a specific set of regulations.
The selectmen are scheduled to meet on July 16 at 7 p.m.
Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org