Each Deer in Redding Costs Residents $1,870

And that's the conservative estimate.

(Editor's note: The headline has been changed from "taxpayers" to "residents," as the costs stemming from deer, according to the Deer Alliance's report, are taken as an average. The word "taxpayers" could be construed as being misleading. The body of the article has been changed to reflect this as well.)

With Lyme disease, babesiosis, car accidents and more, increasing deer populations pose problems in Fairfield County.

But how do these seemingful timid mammals impact our wallets? According to the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance, sustains $4,475,399 in deer-related damages each year. David Streit, who chairs the alliance, . 

What does that mean for a 31.5-square mile (excluding water) town?

Each deer trotting through Redding costs residents, on average, nearly $1,870. 

Deer are expensive, non-taxpaying itinerants of Redding

In August 2010, the Connnecticut Deer Alliance Study approximated the annual cost of deer-related damages in Fairfield County towns:

Deer-related damages associated with:

Environment/ Landscape

Motor Vehicles

Tick Control

Tick-Borne Diseases


Cost to Redding






The 2010 study estimates that with 2,945 households in Redding, these damages cost about $1,520, on average, per family in Redding per year.

Earlier this year, Howard Kilpatrick, of the Connecticut DEEP, said based on survey results, a majority of residents—75.1 percent—favored bow hunting on open space, while 54.4 percent approved of gun hunting and 53.4 percent approved of sharpshooting as well. On open space that is currently not used for deer hunting, 76.7 percent of those who responded to the survey approved of opening those lands for bow hunting, while 57.2 percent approved of opening them for gun hunting and 56 percent approved of opening them for sharpshooting.

Kilpatrick said that should Redding cease all of its hunting programs, the deer population would double in town in seven years. Should Redding want to see its deer population at 12 per square mile, Kilpatrick said, 276 does would need to be killed in each of the next five years. 

Hunting season begins on Sept. 15 and lasts until Jan. 31. 

Morna Crites-Moore July 10, 2012 at 01:28 PM
This article is ridiculous. I really think it is time for the non-deer killing population of Redding to get organized and get vocal. I also think the DEP should do more to protect us from the high cost of weather related damage. We should put a protective dome over the entire town so we won't have to deal with nature at all.
Jason July 10, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Sean Armstrong, you have no class for posting such an idiotic thing. Cowardly as well when directed towards a woman - behind a keyboard.
Bill July 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I get it. Blame the deer for the high ridiculous taxes in Redding. And since they can't talk, they can't defend themselves. What is with this war on deer? It's patently absurd.
The Mirror July 10, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I never knew there were so many vegans in Redding.
Karla Donovan July 10, 2012 at 05:32 PM
How do deer-related auto accidents cost the taxpayers money? How do tick-borne diseases cost the taxpayers money? This article is very poorly written and slanted toward its desired conclusion. I've lived here 15 years and never had a deer-related accident. Why? I don't speed, and I stay conscious of whether animals are on the road. I also have small deer-warning "whistle" devices on my car.
sam masterson July 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Overpopulation is a serious problem for all species; if the deer posed a threat to all the suburban cats and dogs out there then I'm sure we'd be seeing pitchforks and torches. I like to see the deer in my backyard like everyone else but if you want to imbalance the natural order of predators then you have to take responsibility for the downstream results. It's perfectly rational to thin it out a bit.
sam masterson July 10, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Whistle devices are smart to have
Justin Reynolds (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Karla, The methodology used to arrive at the numbers is here: http://www.deeralliance.com/node/9. The $1,870 number is just an average of the estimated deer population compared to the total damage deer are suspected to cause in Redding, as per the Deer Alliance's study. Car accidents, for example, have to be cleaned up by someone.
The Mirror July 10, 2012 at 05:58 PM
The article is not poorly written, simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion on the subject. However, your comment about never having had a deer-related accident is designed to imply that anyone that does is: A) Speeding B) Inattentive or C) Lacking deer alert whistles (which have NEVER been proven to work - ever) All of these are worthless observations, and in fact, simply insulting to anyone who has ever had a run-in with a deer. The fact that you can find a cigar smoker who lives to 99 years old is not evidence that cigars are healthy.
Karla Donovan July 10, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Dear Mirror, I did not state nor do I believe that ANYONE who has had a deer-related accident is negligent for said reasons, but I do believe that MANY who have had a deer-related accident are guilty of speeding, inattentiveness, and lack of desire to avoid hitting deer. Not all of them, but SOME of them! To Justin Reynolds -- thank you for clarification, but, again, still not sure how all these costs are passed on the the taxpayer. The town budgets are dominated by schooling costs. A better numerical analysis would be dollars spent on deer related costs as compared to total dollars paid in property taxes... i.e., 5% of your property tax might go toward deer damage control costs. The other method (per taxpayer) is more of a rabble-rousing number. Why would someone who pays $7,000 per year in taxes (lucky dog!) pays the same amount of deer damage as someone who pays $20,000 per year. Just an observation on presenting data, and why I believe the numbers as presented are trying to tilt opinion. Tick borne disease costs to town -- why? Why is there landscaping costs in Redding? We have very few landscaped town areas, and if this is true, the previous poster is correct -- plant anti-deer landscaping! I am not necessarily against the deer-control hunt per se... I know that some measures must be taken, but it seems like some of these costs are attribuable to PEOPLE'S DECISIONS and not the deers'.
Karla Donovan July 10, 2012 at 07:08 PM
A quick perusal of the deer alliance report comfirms that most of those costs are private citizens costs, not town costs. That is, these figures are not portions of our property tax dollars that are going toward deer control and cleanup, but the costs associated with private citizens replacing their desired landscaping after deer damage, auto collision costs after a deer-related accident (private costs) and illness and prevention. The town is not spending this money and the taxpayers are not charged this amount via taxes. This article gave me the impression that towns were incurring these costs, and passing it on to the taxpayer...
Karla Donovan July 10, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Now I am wrong -- the deer cost quote was per deer, not per taxpayer! Sorry! But use of the word taxpayer is inappropriate to me. Per citizen, per person, per adult.
Justin Reynolds (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Karla, I agree with you. Sorry for the confusion. The headline's been changed.
Karla Donovan July 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Justin, that's nice to change the headline, but the body of the article still uses the term taxpayer and taxes, and particularly this statement, " in Redding, these damages cost about $1,520 in taxpayer money per family in Redding per year" -- patently not true. Why are these tax phrases used in this article at all? Suggests to me that the NRA and/or TeaParty types are in charge at DEEP or the Deer Alliance or Patch! Now if someone examines the damage done to the preserve areas due to deer overpopulation, I would appreciate that information. As another commentor noted, Redding is known for its land and wildlife preserves and its residents should be aware that includes deer!
Justin Reynolds (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Sorry Karla, I missed the phrase you quoted. It's been fixed.
Ted B July 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM
"Deer are expensive, non-taxpaying itinerants of Redding" That is a matter of opinion that has no place in what is supposed to be a news story. That's Journalism 101. I thought this was a news site, not a blog.
The Mirror July 11, 2012 at 03:15 AM
"NRA and/or Tea Party types" are in charge of the Patch? Wow. Just wow.
Citizen July 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Ted, what part of it is opinion? Deer are expensive? That's what the objective facts from the studies that the article are reporting suggest. Unless you considered $4.4M in a small town that bitches and moans over ever single municipal expense to be inexpensive. They are non-taxpaying? Also a fact. They are itinerant? Also a fact. They are in Redding? Another fact. Disagree with the studies all you want. I'm sure they have faults. But don't call that subject heading an "opinion that has no place in what is supposed to be a news story".
Karla Donovan July 11, 2012 at 04:19 PM
The use of the word "taxpayers", "taxes", and even using "non-taxpaying" as an adjective to describe an ANIMAL in an article that has no real data about taxes, taxpayers, or municipal expenses show either a bias or desire to incite those who are obsessed with taxes, OR poor journalism. There are NO MUNICIPAL EXPENSES in the cost analysis in this article or the study. I doubt reporter Justin realized that himself, since his defense of auto accident costs was that "accidents require clean-up." There may be municipal expenses incurred due to the deer population -- this article has not noted any of that. Deer are not expensive to me, by the way. I haven't spent a dime on them this year! I am not debating the need to keep deer population from exploding. It would be nice to see a well-researched, well-written presentation of the facts regarding the deer population in Redding and Fairfield County.
Citizen July 11, 2012 at 06:22 PM
"Deer are not expensive to me, by the way. I haven't spent a dime on them this year! " You don't buy health or auto insurance?
The Mirror July 11, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Some people on this thread seem to be confusing the Patch with the NY Times or a scholarly journal. To take offense to this - "Deer are expensive, non-taxpaying itinerants of Redding," which was clearly meant to be a harmless joke, is to reveal oneself as humorless. To carry on for days over the semantics of this little article which simply points out that deer cause damage and that Redding residents do in fact pay for their share of these damages (perhaps not so much directly in taxes, but they are still out of pocket) is just inane. Aren't you guys late for that Masters-level Journalism class you both must teach?
Karla Donovan July 11, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I get email updates, otherwise, believe me, I really don't care. If that was meant as a joke (the only joke, by the way, in an article about whether to kill deer by bowhunting, rifle hunters, or sharpshooters) it was a funny joke, but it didn't really play as a joke, in my opinion, since, as stated, there was no humor in the rest of the article. You obviously have a dog in this fight; I do not. Sometimes, the plethora of poorly-written articles can be upsetting, and people want to try to elevate the craft of writing and journalism. There was no problem with semantics. If the article was meant to convey that deer cause damage and cost money to some Redding residents, there are easier clearer ways to state that. As a scientist, the data was conveyed poorly. No one wrote nasty comments or personal attacks and if I were a young writer, I would want some constructive criticism. I hope the writing of your post has relieved your angst over the unfairness of questioning and criticizing an article that apparently even the editor deemed needed clarification. And yes, I do pay for auto and health insurance, just as I have in all other areas of the country in which I lived. The article does not take into account auto or health insurance in its numerical analysis.
Paul July 11, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Do squirrels and chipmunks carry lyme ticks? Yes, Do squirrels and chipmunks sometimes run into oncoming traffic that people swerve to avoid then get into an accident? Yes. Therefore squirrels and chipmunks must cost residents about $1000 (they're smaller) . So let's kill all the squirrels and chipmunks too!
Citizen July 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM
"And yes, I do pay for auto and health insurance, just as I have in all other areas of the country in which I lived. The article does not take into account auto or health insurance in its numerical analysis." Good. Then you've spent more than a dime on deer this year, which was my point. I never said the source studies even counted that indirect expense.
Sushi July 16, 2012 at 01:19 AM
You don't have to be a vegan or a vegetarian even to love the deer and the wildlife. But we certainly don't eat venison - that's for sure! And another thing, the deer are BEAUTIFUL and were here FIRST before the suburban neanderthal's sabotaged the natural endemic terrain and ecosystem for deer and all wildlife here. Hunting should be ABOLISHED - it is for barbarians!!
Sushi July 16, 2012 at 01:21 AM
So what about :"thinning out" some of the neaderthals on the planet who are harming innocent animals? Would that be considered "population control" also in your book Mr. Masterson???!
sam masterson July 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Actually Sushi, the point was that we need to responsible to the environment as a whole - for the long term. You can thin a population through attrition. As sentient beings, it is our responsibility to think of solutions to the problems we face. I fear bambi every time I ride my bike or car (especially during during dusk hour) and I've seen more and more lately. I'm no activist but harming innocent animals is certainly not the point. Sorry you went down that rabbit hole.
Sushi July 16, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Paul, great point!!! I think Sam Masterson should take a chapter out of your book and go down his own rabbit hole - and stay there! If he had his druthers, he'd have most of our natural wildlife "thinned out". Wonder how humans like him feel about having built so deeply into the natural habitats of these Deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and even coyotes who now have no where to go to graze and hide from predators like him who want to "thin out" their population by hunting them down and killing them. The audacity of what he continues to promote makes my blood boil. Not to mention his own thin skin - speaking of "thin". There has been so much building and construction along the Merrit over the last 10 - 15 years that these poor animals have no where to go now. Their homes have been taken over by the construction and growth markets - no wonder they run into the streets and parkways - not out of revenge because they obviously suffer an even great consequence than the driver of the car who can swerve out of the way - sometimes - to avoid instant death. Humans have created this very dangerous situation but the answer is certainly not further eradication of the wildlife population. Perhaps the answer is to create a co-existence between the species of humans and wildlife. But maybe that would cost taxpayers too much money??? Greedy humans can't have it all!!!!!!
sam masterson July 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Clearly you missed the point, Sushi, you should re-read. Maybe we should arm the deer, squirrels and chipmunks and pit them against the coyotes and crazy hunters.
pete james zach October 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
barbarians! eh Sushi you got alot to learn


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