Town Animal Control Officer Beau Payne told the November 8 meeting of the Deer & Tick Committee there are plans that would enable homeowners to burn sections of their property for tick control.
Currently, burning is permitted from September 15 through March 15 for limbs and branches with a town-issued burn permit, but burning of leaves is not permitted.
Burning undeveloped portions of a landowner’s property is permitted with a New York State Department of Conservation (DEC)-approved burn plan. Property owners must also obtain a burn notice from the town clerk’s office.
Officer Payne explained that “it’s not as simple as it was years ago to just burn to control ticks,” adding that “many different factors have to be taken into consideration.”
He noted that the Fire Department maintains a list of properties that can be burned as official training sites and the department should be contacted for more information.
New ideas for homeowner burning are being collected and a plan will be presented to the Town Board and sent to the DEC for approval, Officer Payne explained. The town attorney must also approve any burning plan.
In other business: Recent tick drags show that ticks “are down a bit” and that Officer Payne believes “we’re at a plateau.”
Councilman James Colligan said, “The 4-posters [feeding stands that brush deer with a tickicide, permethrin] do work. Culling does work.”
It was learned that two times as much corn was used this October for the 4-posters than last October. Officer Payne said that was probably due to fewer acorns falling to the ground this October. However, total annual corn consumption was nearly even with last year’s total.
Officer Payne added that the bow hunting season, which started October 1, has resulted in 36 deer being taken by 18 hunters.
He said that more hunters are using the cold storage facility provided by the town to store deer carcasses.
Mr. Colligan said that the Deer & Tick Committee budget had been approved for the coming year.
A two-hour program put together by the Cornell Cooperative Extension on tick education will be available to the town but it must be held before the end of February 2019, Officer Payne said.
“We should try to coordinate that with the school,” Mr. Colligan said.
Officer Payne also said that he was putting a draft together for a four-year deer-management program that he will send to committee members.