I appreciate what Dick Johnson, Matt Poole and their fellow Island board of health members are trying to do to address the ongoing tick issue. Lyme has affected a lot of us. Me included. But this eliminate-all-the-deer crusade is getting out of hand. There is so much more involved to taking more deer than just adding two weeks in January.

Did you talk to Island hunters about this proposal? I think you would find a totally different outlook from the experienced hunters who would actually be the ones you want out there.

The hunting season begins in mid-October and ends on Dec. 31. What makes you think another two weeks will make a difference? By the end of December most of the deer have gone nocturnal because of the pressure they have received during bow, shotgun and black powder reasons and are already grouping or “yarding up” into does and bucks. You will get some deer, of course, in January, but not what you might expect.

The estrus period for does begins in November and is over in early December. By January many are pregnant, some for more than two months. As a sportsman, I, and many hunters I know, would not want to field dress a doe and find a fetus that, by all accounts, might still be moving.

Talk to people on Nantucket. They had a special February season in 2005 and will never do it again. Hundreds of mainland hunters looking for something to do who didn’t know where to hunt on Nantucket cause lots of problems. Ask Nantucketers. What do you think will happen when mainland hunters hear we have too many deer and there is a special January season? I saw one comment on a Facebook site from an off-Island hunter who said he looked forward to it. I believe in light of the overall effort being undertaken to address the tick problem here and in New England, efforts should be made to allow hunting on Sunday. All other states in New England and New York allow Sunday hunting. Why not here? In the long run this makes more sense because you will get more people hunting on Sundays throughout the regular hunting when the deer are more easily hunted than you will in January. Most importantly, you will harvest more deer.

And where would we hang our deer in January? The freezing temperatures will inhibit hanging deer in sheds. During the season many hunters stop hunting once they have as much venison in the freezer as they want. Shooting another deer means taking many hours to skin and butcher it or paying someone else to do it, and it costs $150 or more to get this done if you can find someone to do it. What we really need is an affordable and convenient deer processing operation. That’s why we really need to increase the harvest.

I understand this is an attempt to cull more deer from the Island herds to help lower the tick population. I appreciate that. But after reading three different research articles about scientists trying to curb deer ticks by killing the deer, I was surprised by the overall view that hunting really does not decrease the number of ticks the way it was originally thought.

Look, we all hate ticks. But we all don’t hate deer. Let’s do this right. Mr. Johnson seems to have his mind made up by going to all the selectmen and pushing this agenda. I want to control the tick numbers here as many others do. But, as a concerned hunter and sportsman, I do not think a January hunt is the answer.

Ned Casey