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Feb 28, 2014 5:04 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Southold Cull Begins After Lawsuit Against Town Is Thrown Out

Mar 4, 2014 3:43 PM

U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters are hunting deer in Southold this week, to the relief of some and to the horror of others.

When, or if, they will come to Southampton Town—one of three municipalities where permits to conduct a cull have been sought by individual property owners—remains an open question.

The cull, which is part of the Long Island Farm Bureau project that was proposed as a five-town deer cull, has been a hot-button issue for East End towns for months.

Pitched last fall to reduce deer damage to crops, reduce the risk of tick-borne diseases, and put a stop to the rise in car-versus-deer accidents, it has received much criticism from animal advocates and deer hunters alike.

The Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island filed a lawsuit to block the Long Island Farm Bureau and the USDA from going forward, but after the restraining order was thrown out by a judge last week, Southold Town and the USDA proceeded in hopes of solving the problems officials see stemming from the deer population.

Since the cull began early last week, private properties in Southold Town have played host to these sharpshooters who typically come in teams of three: one with a gun, one acting as a spotter, and the third serving as a driver/assistant. All the hunters are USDA employees, and most are biologists or specialists and are given rigorous special safety and training on conducting the hunts, according to Carol Bannerman, a spokesperson for the USDA.

While most of the cull has taken place on privately owned land so far, Ms. Bannerman said there may be some public properties that will be targeted. She didn’t have a total number of properties on which the cull is happening. She said, however, that sharpshooters are still out in the field and will be until early April.

“We wouldn’t be there if there were not some sort of damage being done,” she said on Monday. “Part of the Wildlife Management profession is tasked with the very narrow area of assisting where there has been damage done to human health and safety, agriculture, property, or natural resources. On the East End, we see aspects of all of those in the deer population.”

In January, it looked as if East Hampton Town and Village were poised to participate in the cull, but it wasn’t until East Hampton Town was issued a temporary restraining order, barring it from completing and implementing a contract with the Long Island Farm Bureau and the USDA that the town backed out. Just a few days later, the Village of East Hampton, which had been supportive of the cull, decided to opt out this year as well.

While Southampton Town had not expressed an interest in joining the cull, officials of the Village of Sagaponack said they would be interested if the both towns agreed to participate. Since they did not, Sagaponack dropped out as well.

With the South Fork governments out, farmers and private land owners were left to apply for DEC permits on their own to participate in the cull—and property owners in Sagaponack are said to be among the applicants.

So far, the Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a total of 12 Deer Damage Permits for the East End deer cull, from Riverhead to Southold and Southampton, and six of them are pending. The permits are valid from February 1 through April 31, according to Aphrodite Montalvo, a DEC spokeswoman.

She said she could not comment further because the DEC has no say in the deer cull except to issue deer damage permits.

Ms. Bannerman said that the USDA does not give out information about the specific locations of USDA sharpshooters for safety purposes, and she didn’t know where on the South Fork the sharpshooters are planned to go.

Long Island Farm Bureau Executive Director Joe Gergela was not in the office on Friday or Monday afternoon for comment, either. He has steadfastly refused to respond to requests seeking comment on the Farm Bureau’s involvement in the cull.

Still hopeful to change things, anti-cull advocates said on Friday they were upset about how easily the cull went through and the lack of communication from government officials and the Long Island Farm Bureau.

“I’ve never seen such cloak-and-dagger behavior from officials from government agencies. It’s scary,” said Wendy Chamberlin, the president of the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island on Friday. She said the Long Island Farm Bureau should be answering questions. “It’s a message of arrogance and entitlement beyond anything I ever experienced. They don’t feel like they are answerable to anyone. They are a very small, secretive group that represents a small group of interests.”

Ms. Chamberlin said their loss in court was not expected, especially so quickly. “We were all completely knocked over,” she said. “It seems the judge so summarily dismissed our case and didn’t wait for anything from the respondents. The sleight of hand … we were flabbergasted.”

Michael Tessitore, the founder of Hunters for Deer, based in East Quogue, said the timing was swift and that the hunters he associates with have been on the lookout since early last week.

“Friday was our court date, and Tuesday in Southold Town they started baiting and the USDA started scouting properties and setting up tree stands,” he said on Friday. “A couple of my guys found a stand at a property … and last night a couple of my members saw a USDA truck parked at a spot. A girl went in at 3 a.m. wearing all black and wearing a nice little assault rifle.”

Other activists have gone as far as to propose a boycott of Southold wineries and farms that support the cull. A Facebook page has sprung up on the internet, Boycott Southold Wine.

Ms. Chamberlin said on Monday that the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island was still working to fight the cull by filing an injunction against the ruling.

“It’s like they’re handing out permits like candy to farmers from all over, including to farmers in Sagaponack,” she said. “We are getting calls every day from people in a state of panic, saying, ‘They’re on our street, we saw the trucks going by—what we do?’ There’s a state of hysteria. This is really criminal.”

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"A couple of my guys found a stand on a property…" So they were trespassing.. that's nice

"It's like they're handing out permits like candy to farmers from all over, including to farmers in Sagaponack," she said. "Me and Mike Tessitore are getting calls every day from people in a state of panic, saying 'They're on our street, we saw the trucks going by, what we do?' There's a state of hysteria. This is really criminal."

So issuing twelve permits in three (3) townships constitutes ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 28, 14 5:14 PM
Nature,

Good observation on the court issue, your hypocrisy has no bounds. I, Michael Tessitore, never made mention about criminality, that was quoted from someone else in the article.
By MichaelHunter (71), East Quogue, New York on Feb 28, 14 8:26 PM
In Nature's defense, he didn't attribute the quote to you.
Feb 28, 14 8:35 PM appended by dnice
Maybe I'm mistaken though.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Feb 28, 14 8:35 PM
You're not mistaken - I didn't "attribute" the quote to anyone, I cut and pasted straight from the article. Mike Tessitore has now stated he didn't make the make the comment in the article, so looks like he cleared things up.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Mar 1, 14 9:52 AM
Sure he did, what did "their" refer too? - Dnice


Nature,

BTW my guys have permission to be on that property from the owner, so they weren't trespassing. There also isn't any warning or posted sign, alerting people that a sniper with a rifle is in the area. If you are going to type my name, make sure you get your facts straight.
By MichaelHunter (71), East Quogue, New York on Feb 28, 14 9:32 PM
Mike T -

The guy who claims they are "getting out of vehicles with assault rifles" is telling people to get their facts straight? Since when are bolt action .243's considered assault rifles? Would you like a definition of an assault rifle?

"An assault rifle is a selective fire (selective between semi-automatic, fully automatic and/or burst fire) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine." No detachable magazine, no semi/full auto, NOT an assault rifle.

One ...more
By JohnQPublic (1), Southold on Mar 1, 14 9:03 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sure he did, what did "their" refer too? - Dnice

"their" was a reference to the collective group known as "Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island" It's a shame if you're being lumped in with comments that are not in line with what you believe.

Further, I didn't accuse YOU of trespassing either, as the article states "a couple of [your] guys" thus implying it was not you.

Care to explain why I'm a hypocrite?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Mar 1, 14 9:56 AM
Sir, please explain why your group is opposed to the deer cull. Obviously, as a hunter, you do not share Wendy Chamberlin's abhorrence to the killing of deer. Are you concerned that the cull will interfere with your sport?
By unchndhart (6), Southold on Mar 10, 14 5:54 PM
In NY any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and one other feature such as a pistol grip, flash suppressor, folding or telescoping stock or bayonet lug is considered an assault rifle and is a felony to possess unless the owner had the rifle before Jan 2013 and registers it by April 2014. I agree with the definition by JohnQPublic but NY State does not.



By jkp220 (1), westhampton beach on Mar 1, 14 1:05 PM
where's the beef?!
By supportourpd (2), East Quogue on Mar 2, 14 4:46 AM
Does Wendy Chamberlin, the president of the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island live in Southold?
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Mar 2, 14 6:38 PM
Many ordinary New Yorkers like myself are disgusted and sickened that our area would permit the largest mass slaughter of the Long Islands deer in NY history. I never thought it could happen here. Why were all humane options not even considered? This could have placed Southold in a good light as fair and decent people. It's even more upsetting that Farmers and especially the Long Island Farm Bureau and the town of Southold actually put a contract out with the USDA to massacre our deer. It seems ...more
By earthspirit (16), Southampton on Mar 5, 14 8:36 AM
Great example we're sending our kids: Hey, got a problem? Just blow it away. And you wonder why children are taking guns into schools, etc. They're learning this from their supposedly more intelligent adults. I, for one, will not be visiting any North Fork farm stand in the future. This is yet another example of Hamptons greed.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Mar 7, 14 1:17 PM
You think this is why kids bring guns into school? It is because their parents didn't do their job. Educate and raise your kids the right way and you don't have to worry about the "negative" effect a cull will have on their delicate sensibilities.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Mar 7, 14 2:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Diseased rats with long legs.

We must remember to send Plum Island a Thank You note for continuing Third Reich biological warfare research.
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 7, 14 3:07 PM
Lab 257
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 14 3:19 PM
Right on the money Mr. Z it's nice to find common ground for a change!
By bigfresh (4381), north sea on Mar 7, 14 3:20 PM
We have more in common than you may realize. We mainly disagree on the point that I feel aristocracy and oligarchy have outlived their usefulness.
Mar 7, 14 3:37 PM appended by Mr. Z
Money is just as addictive as cocaine. It triggers exactly the same neurochemical response in the human brain...
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 7, 14 3:37 PM
And from my point of vie capitalism and trickle down work. Other than that , All is right with the world. Enjoy the warm weather!
By bigfresh (4381), north sea on Mar 9, 14 1:02 PM
Those who ignore the past, jeopardize the future. Though it may work for you, there are over 6 billion people on this planet, and untold millions in this country it doesn't work for.

85 people hold more wealth than half the world's population. How much more do the "creators" need before they do so?

Not everyone lives in your sunny test tube.
Mar 9, 14 1:42 PM appended by Mr. Z
BTW, the Koch brothers are warning that if taxes are raised on the wealthy, they will have to lay off many of their Congressmen...
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 9, 14 1:42 PM
"If workers are more insecure, that's very healthy for society, because if workers are insecure, they won't ask for wages, they won't go on strike, they won't call for benefits; they'll serve the masters gladly and passively. And, that's optimal for corporations."

~ Alan Greenspan
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 9, 14 3:03 PM
In all sincerety Mr Z, what's your answer to the perceived "problem"?
By bigfresh (4381), north sea on Mar 10, 14 4:16 PM
I need to take some time to write that out. Here's a good start, and some food for thought. Think it's much different on the rest of Long Island? For the most part, it's more expensive.


What you must earn to buy a home in 25 cities in 2014
New York: $66,167.27

Mortgage rate: 4.38 percent
•Quarterly change: -0.22 percent

Home price: $386,300
•Quarterly change: -4.71 percent
•YOY change: +2.8 percent

Monthly payment: $1,543.90

Salary: ...more
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 11, 14 8:46 AM
I'm all for the cull. I live in Southold and we have way too many deer. I see dead deer corpses on the side of the road all the time. I'm afraid I may be in an accident on the road with a deer running into my car. The deer have torn up my property and eaten all of my trees and shrubs. The woods across from my house is loosing precious growth dues to the over abundance of the deer. I only wish the sharp shooters and hunters were allowed to kill more of them. Before living here I always thought ...more
By lkb23wp (1), Southold on Mar 10, 14 4:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
The hypocrisy of the arguments of the Wildlife Preservation Coalition is astounding. No one disputes that the deer population of Eastern Long Island is out of control. What is their solution? Birth control for the deer! This may work in a zoo, but no reasonable person can say that this is a solution to control the population of animals that are fleet of foot and that live in the wild. Their solution is really just a load of deer poop.
By unchndhart (6), Southold on Mar 10, 14 6:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
This massacre is a perfect example of private interests being paid for with public (taxpayer) money. Meantime the folks on LI pay the highest taxes in the country, part of which is going towards this gruesome deer massacre when humane solutions were available but dismissed .Next election vote these people out of office .They are not fit to serve the best interests of people or animals.
By earthspirit (16), Southampton on Mar 11, 14 8:40 AM
Please explain what "humane solutions" are actually available. Don't tell me about birth control for deer, which is a dream.
By unchndhart (6), Southold on Mar 11, 14 12:56 PM
These posts are my morning joke line. About 5 years ago at a meeting in the R M Library the subject was Deer. As is now the norm on the East End all the newcomers think they have the answer. One lady asked the DEC man "Can't you tranquilize them and then perform the necessary surgery?" A few twitters from some in the audience. The DEC man tried hard to hide his smile and said "Lady, if we got every male deer out there but there was one hiding behind a tree that we missed.... well, that young buck ...more
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Mar 11, 14 9:14 AM
Summertime, I am a "newcomer", but I agree with you 100%
By unchndhart (6), Southold on Mar 11, 14 11:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Look the newcomers should leave the country ways alone."

So certain citizens should have no say?
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Mar 14, 14 2:58 PM

Long Island Deer Win Reprieve as Judge Puts Temporary Hold on Planned Cull

Monday, March 10, 2014

Washington, DC—A state court judge in New York issued a temporary injunction on Thursday to prevent new permits from being issued to kill deer as part of the Long Island Deer Cull Project—one of the largest planned deer slaughters in the country. The injunction comes in response to a lawsuit filed on March 6, 2014, by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and a group ...more
By earthspirit (16), Southampton on Mar 12, 14 6:46 AM
These are disease carrying animals which destroy the local flora. They are a nuisance, damage the environment, and there is NO changing the fact they have been displaced by rampant development.

They have no natural predators, except us. Either reintroduce wolves, or cut them down. Pick one, because I'm sure the geniuses who are hugging them haven't experienced the innate joys of the spirochete which causes Lyme's disease.

How about put yourselves to a real use, like demolishing ...more
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 12, 14 9:42 AM
to Mr. Z:

You persist in the ignorant belief that deer spread Lyme Disease in face of the fact that there is NO correlation between deer population density and prevalence of the disease.*

Reducing the deer herd will have NO EFFECT on Lyme Disease incidence. Except for restricted environments (islands, peninsulas) wherein they were exterminated, it never has. In contrast, INCREASING the OPOSSUM and/or FOX population WOULD reduce incidence - - but engendering life is a lot more ...more
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Mar 12, 14 10:45 AM
Do they carry the Lyme spirochete? Yes. You can point to studies until you are blue in the face. Point blank, out of the crucible fact is they are carriers and hosts for the ticks just like mice. No study can change that.

I can point to studies which claim the exact opposite, but facts are facts. Deer and mice are the "Typhoid Mary" of Lyme, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis.
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 12, 14 11:06 AM
to Mr. Z:

Quote:

"I can point to studies which claim the exact opposite, but facts are facts. Deer and mice are the "Typhoid Mary" of Lyme, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I await your citations with anticipation.
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Mar 12, 14 11:15 AM
Coinfecting Deer-Associated Zoonoses: Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis

Ellie J. C. Goldstein, Section Editor

Charles Thompson, Andrew Spielman, and Peter J. Krause

Favorite excerpt:

White-tailed deer serve as the main definitive hosts for vector ticks and provide the blood meal that adult deer ticks require for reproduction during the winter season.
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 12, 14 11:46 AM
to Mr. Z:

The quote which you excerpt refers to a paper published in 1979. It is superannuated.

The fact that deer host ticks is not in dispute. What IS disputed, however, is the belief that deer population density correlates with the incidence of tick-borne illness. It doesn't, as later research has shown.
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Mar 13, 14 1:23 AM
So, deer do not propagate the tick population in the winter, while white footed mice are taking a long winter's nap unless it's warm enough to restock the pantry?
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 13, 14 3:45 AM
Don't confuse hh with FACTS Mr Z
By bigfresh (4381), north sea on Mar 13, 14 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
My sources say that study was published in 2001.

So much for "superannuated"...
By Mr. Z (11376), North Sea on Mar 13, 14 5:02 PM
Isn't the partnership of the Wilddlife Coalition and Hunters for Deer very strange? They are together on opposing the cull, but for very different reasons! In fact, their agendas have NOTHING in common, other than that they oppose the cull. The Wildlife Coalition is opposed to the killing of any deer for any reason, but Hunters for Deer is opposed to the killing of deer by USDA sharpshooters so that they can kill the deer themselves!
By unchndhart (6), Southold on Mar 13, 14 1:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
to Mr. Z:

Quote:

"My sources say that study was published in 2001.
So much for 'superannuated'..."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are mistaken. While the article appeared in 2001, the quote therein that you posted refers to a footnoted earlier work. However, a closer reading shows that I was mistaken as well, I mistook a similar passage in the same article for the one that you posted. The work that your quote ...more
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Mar 14, 14 9:08 AM
Well written editorial from The Suffolk Times regarding the boycotting threats: "Show Your Face Before Taking a Stand": http://suffolktimes.timesreview.com/2014/03/46703/editorial-please-show-your-face-before-you-take-a-stand/
By unchndhart (6), Southold on Mar 14, 14 2:25 PM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser