ESSEX FELLS - Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Essex Fells town hall this weekend to voice concerns over a deer hunt.

The town council approved the deer culling operation at the Sept. 10 council meeting.

Protesters say the hunt is inhumane and poses a safety risk to residents who walk in the town's wooded areas.

Council members issued a statement saying, "The controlled bow-and-arrow deer hunt is being conducted in order to reduce health risks related to the transmission of Lyme disease from deer to humans, limit damage to ornamental plantings within the community, reduce deer versus motor vehicle collisions, and restore native plant materials and habitat for other wildlife." Hunters may conduct culling activities on weekdays until Nov. 26.