Bow-Hunting Season Begins Friday on Weston Conservation Lands
Weston’s Deer Hunting program begins Friday, October 1 and is open through the last day of December, with the goal of reduction of the deer herd. Anyone who has lost a young tree or bush to the marauding fluffos will know that we have a lot of them here in Weston (and yes, the Owl lost two young willows to Bambi and friends, and has a number of rhodis with teeth marks ). Deer change ecosystems and an overabundance of them can cause forest damage. On the other hand, they’re cute.
Regardless of how you feel about deer hunting, the season opens not with a bang but a shhhhffffph. Yes, these are bowhunters, they are all licensed by the state, have permits with the Town of Weston, and have had to pass a proficiency test. You can read about requirements here. While it’s understandable that there is a certain level of concern about folks shooting (bowing? arching?) in the woods, let me assure you that bow-hunting requires a great amount of skill –it is super rare that an accident happens to a passing hiker or biker. Actually, I am not sure it even happens but I’m far too lazy to check. My kids became licensed bow hunters at age 12 but never wanted to actually use those licenses–both did mention how hard it is.
The Weston Conservation lands that are hunted are all available on this map. No one can hunt outside of these areas unless they are on private land with private landholder’s approval. As a person who is out on the trails every single day, I will tell you that it is extremely unlikely you will ever see one of the hunters–in my seven years here, I have seen only two, and they were walking back from their stands.
Here’s my advice: if you’re an early morning hiker, wear bright colors just because they are happy, put your brown dog in orange collars if they are off-leashers and off-trailers. Stick to the trails–don’t be hunting the hunters. While I don’t love the thought of hunting, I will say that the hunters have helped out Weston Forest & Trail and Conservation with a number of trail projects including bog bridge maintenance. Live and let live. Or not, depending on your perspective.