2006-11-16 / Front Page

Beavertail deer hunt will continue despite opponents' objections

By Dotti Farrington

Opponents tried to stop the first controlled bow hunting season for deer at Beavertail State Park that started Monday, but their application to Newport Superior Court in Newport for an injunction was denied last Friday, Nov. 11.

The hunt is underway as scheduled. On Nov. 6, Town Councilors voted 4-0, with one member absent, to "support" the state Department of Environmental Management's proposal to allow deer hunting with bow and arrow at the state park from Monday, Nov. 13 through Jan. 31, 2007.

The vote adopted the boundaries as detailed by the DEM, and provided for its fish and wildlife division to provide additional signs within the park. Hunting is allowed on weekdays only through Dec. 31, and then seven days a week during January.

Residents have been split for years about hunting on the island. Some agree that the herd needs to be culled for many reasons, including because of the connection between deer and the deer ticks that infect people with Lyme disease. Others are opposed to any deer hunting, calling it cruelty to animals and unneeded because there are other ways to curtail the growth of the island's deer population.

Boundaries

The northern hunting limits at Beavertail park are: on the west side of Beavertail Road from Pole 92 west to the Narragansett Bay; and on the east side of the road, from the pole with the DEM marker by the small path, north of the speed limit sign to the bay.

The southern boundaries are: on the west side of the road at the northern edge of Parking Lot 2, west to the bay; and then, north of the path around to the northern edge of Parking Lot 4.

A safety zone has been established around the residence and antenna tower; and climbing of any park tower is prohibited.

Regulations

In the Beavertail bow hunting area, no hunting of anything other than deer is permitted. All regulations for general deer hunting apply. No firearms are allowed on the property at any time.

Construction or use of permanent tree stands is banned. Use of nails, spikes, bolts or devices that may damage trees is prohibited. Climbing tree stands are permitted and must be removed at the end of the season.

Proof of proficiency testing is required for permits, and hunters are asked to sign in at the Jamestown Police Station.

A maximum of 10 hunters per day, on a first-come basis has been set. Hunters may register for up to five slots per week. They may take a maximum of three deer at Beavertail park, and then may apply for gun permits to take a total of six additional deer elsewhere on the island.

Other hunts here

Limited deer hunting with shotguns or muzzleloaders took place between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. A second round of hunting with guns is set for Dec. 22 to Dec. 31. Deer hunters must purchase separate permits for each type of firearm, and only one firearm may be carried at a time. Annual written permission is required for all deer

hunting on private land. Hunters must wear 500 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing during this combined season.

Regular deer hunting with muzzleloaders is open Nov. 4 through Nov. 26. Hunters are required to wear a minimum of 200 square inches of fluorescent orange during this portion of the muzzleloader season.

Shotgun hunting on private land is open from Dec. 2 to Dec. 21.

Hunting hours

Deer hunting hours run from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. All deer taken must be tagged immediately, and checked within 24 hours at a vendor-operated, state-operated checking station, or by a authorized DEM representative.

Hunters should check DEM regulations for specifics about where hunting is allowed, and they should also check with local authorities for additional hunting restrictions.

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