The Lyme Disease Study Committee reported on its work for the past year to the selectmen last night. In sum:
- education efforts continue,
- illegal hunting curbed,
- 30 deer culled this year (140 total over four years),
- deer car crashes down, and
- other towns being assisted.
The program is hampered by the state’s 500″ no shooting zone around dwellings (whereas a state report said 150″ is enough) and lack of hunting on Sundays. The 500′ setback precludes many identified areas of heavy deer concentrations that would benefit from the culling.
The committee is seeking new members – contact Chris Kaldy at 359-1017 –
To the Honorable Board of Selectmen and Residents of Medfield,
The Medfield Lyme Disease Study Committee is pleased to report on its activities for the
past year. The Committee’s approach to manage the health threat posed by Lyme and
other tick-borne diseases is through education on personal and property prevention and
protection as well as deer reduction.
The Committee implemented new and continued with previous efforts to teach about
means of personal protection from tick bites as well as property protection from ticks.
Toward this end, the committee utilizes various media as well as the school, sports and
other town organizations to disseminate its information. The three local television
channels are playing 30 second tick awareness videos created by the Mass Dept. of
Public Health (MDPH) during the active tick seasons. A Facebook page was created to
spread information to residents. Emails were sent by sport coaches and scout leaders to
parents to remind families about tick protection. Our selectmen publish information on
their biogs. Notices were published on the Medfield Patch about the active tick season
and methods for prevention and protection. Links to valuable websites are listed on our
committee’s page on the town’s website. Posters published by the MDPH reminding
children and residents to check for ticks are in our Town Hall, schools and also the
Medfield Afterschool Program. A notice to parents was sent again through the school
nurses to students’ homes warning about the active tick season and methods to protect
against tick bites. Tick check cards were given again to all first and third graders. The
committee’s warning sign about ticks was posted at more locations around town
including Park & Rec properties. At Medfield Day, information was available at the
Board of Health booth. The New ‘N Towne organization gives out information to new
The committee also continued its organized deer-hunting program in the fall for its fourth
season by qualified, volunteer, bow hunters on town land, properties owned by The
Trustees of Reservations (TTOR), and private parcels. Again the program was
successfully implemented and completed with no incidents or safety issues reported to
the committee or the Police Dept. It was held during the Massachusetts state archery
season from October 20 through December 31. Thirty deer were culled. State hunting
laws as well as additional requirements of the committee and TTOR were followed.
Hunting took place only from fixed tree stands placed away from marked trails. Signage
was posted on trails and entrances to the selected properties. Hunters were authorized
after interviews and testing, including a proficiency test of their archery skills as well as a
background check by the Medfield Police. Some illegal hunters were discovered and
removed, so that hunting occurring on town or TTOR land was through our strictly
regulated program. Residents thanked bow hunters for making this effort.
As part of its broader plan, the committee is in touch with nearby towns to encourage
education and deer reduction across the area.
Chris Kaldy, Chair