Devil’s Den to close weekdays for annual limited deer hunt

DEVILS-DENThe Nature Conservancy will hold its annual controlled deer hunt at Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston during the state-designated shotgun and rifle hunting season, which is open from Wednesday, Nov. 19 through Tuesday, Dec. 9. The preserve will be closed to the public when hunters are there.

The purpose of the controlled hunt, which has been held each fall since 2001, is to improve and maintain forest health by reducing the deer population. In recent decades, the high density of deer in southwestern Connecticut and associated overbrowsing have caused ecological damage in the region’s forests, harming the understory, limiting tree regeneration and contributing to the gradual loss of native flowering plants.

During The Den’s controlled hunt last year, hunters removed 22 deer.

The hunt will take place this year on the following weekdays only: Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 19 and 20; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Nov. 24-26; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 1-4; and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 8 and 9.

Devil’s Den will be closed to visitors on these days, and signs will be posted at all public entrances to the preserve. The Nature Conservancy requests that residents and their families, guests and tenants refrain from visiting the preserve on these days.

The deer management effort will only take place in select areas of the preserve’s interior, away from the edges of the preserve and any neighboring residences. The conservancy is working with experienced hunters who have been recruited by Devil’s Den staff members and have knowledge of the preserve and local area.

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