2006-02-02 / News

Deer management in the private sector

By Sam Bari

Two men develop Web site to connect hunters with Jamestown property owners

Not long before the founding of the Wildlife Committee, island resident RJ Coulter and friend Eric Waal had a brainstorm. They decided to help the state Department of Environmental Management control Conanicut Island’s overabundance of deer problem by offering their services as hunters.

Their initial idea was to invite like-minded sportsmen to join them in a consorted effort to contact landowners with qualified parcels of property who would be willing to allow them to hunt deer on their land. They would not charge for their services, and the proceeds of the hunts would be donated to the Hunters for the Hungry program.

Their idea evolved into a Web site designed by Waal, who specializes in computer technologies for a living. The Web site coincidentally mirrors the efforts and intentions of the Wildlife Committee, citing many articles from the Jamestown Press and other publications offering related material.

Their Web site invites hunters as well as landowners to contact them so they can screen hunters and evaluate property being offered by landowners. They will deem some properties appropriate for bow hunting only, while others will qualify for hunting with firearms as well.

The Web site also contains information about the prevention of Lyme disease, programs being used by other municipalities with deer population problems, and methods to discourage deer from destroying habitat.

Coulter and Waal are supportive of the Wildlife Committee and encourage the Town Council to take their recommendations seriously. They are also happy to share their information and statistics with the Wildlife Committee and assist them as much as possible in accomplishing their goals.

For more information, visit the Conanicut Deer Management Web site at www.conanicutdeermanagement.org or call 595-3176.

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