Controlled deer hunt begins Sept. 15

Summer is unofficially over after Labor Day, and that means it’s time for bow hunters to get in line for the town’s annual controlled hunt of deer.

Bow hunters should contact town hall immediately if they want to be among the 45 who will be allowed to hunt deer on local lands beginning Sept. 15.

It is estimated there are 45 deer per square mile in Wilton, too many for the environment to adequately support. Given that Wilton is nearly 27 square miles, that is about 1,215 deer.

“We want to bag as many as possible,” said Mike Conklin, director of environmental affairs for the town, who gave the Board of Selectmen an overview of the upcoming deer hunting season durings its special meeting Aug. 8.

The town’s Deer Committee has set a goal in recent years of taking 350 deer, but nobody has come close to that, Conklin said.

“Typically, about 125 deer a season would be harvested,” he said.

The hunters first need a state hunting permit. Then they need to sign up at town hall.

“It’s been effective,” First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice said of the deer hunting program. “Certainly living here 29 years, I know what it was like before.”

The controlled hunt this year adds properties of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust on Seeley Road and off Honey Hill Road, Conklin said in his report to the selectmen. That is all that is new with the program. The rest remains the same as previous years. The program is in about its 15th year.

The season runs Sept. 15 through Jan. 31 for South Norwalk Electric and Water Co. property at City Lake, Popes Pond, Crystal Lake, Diversion Parcel, and Comstock.

The season also runs Sept. 15 through Jan. 31 for Wilton Land Conservation Trust properties including Tito Lane, Coulhane, Chessor Lake parcel, St. John's/Chicken St. parcel, Seeley Road/Penn Central Parcel and Quail Ridge/Honey Hill.

The season runs:

  • Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 at Gregg Preserve;

  • Nov. 1 through Dec. 23 at Van Haelewyn-Marianna Richards Preserve;

  • Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 at Slaughter Fields.

Town lands where deer will be hunted include:

  • Vista Road Open Space, Sept. 15 through Dec. 31;

  • Belknap Preserve, Nov. 1 through Dec. 31;

  • Sackett Preserve, Nov. 1 through Dec. 23;

  • Wrens Thicket, Sept. 15 through Jan. 31;

  • Wild Duck Reserve, Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.

Hunters are also allowed to hunt on private properties, but only with the owner’s permission.

Hunters must pass a proficiency test and background check. Those who hunt on private property do so at the invitation of the homeowner, work for no fee, and are at the direction of the property owner.

Information: email the Deer Management Committee at or call Mike Conklin at 203-563-0180.