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Jan 5, 2010 5:29 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town to hold deer summit after wildlife group protests

Jan 5, 2010 5:29 PM

A group of wildlife activists paced the road along the entrance to the East Hampton Town Hall on three occasions this week, armed with hand painted signs and a fake deer’s head, to protest the start of the firearm deer hunting season, which began Monday. Members of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife also participated in a three-day fast to bring light to the “unnecessary violence” of hunting.

“It’s an extreme kind of protest, but we wanted to show how seriously we consider the lives of the deer,” said Bill Crain, the group’s president.

Despite snow and freezing winds on Sunday, the group started its protest as planned from 12 to 2 p.m. and returned Monday and Tuesday during the same hours. Mr. Crain said there were about 10 people that joined in throughout the two hours on Sunday, but on Monday and Tuesday there were just four.

Mr. Crain and his wife Ellen took a respite from their vigil to approach Town Board members on Tuesday morning. Mr. Crain suggested the town look into a contraception program and continue to support his program to place reflectors along Stephen Hands Path to deter deer from running out in front of cars when their headlights shine on the reflectors. He said that a sound-based program similar to that program could be used both day and night.

“You’re obviously very passionate. I appreciate that,” Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said. He said the board would hold a deer summit in early February to explore the issue and propose possible solutions.

“It will bring the most eclectic group of people into the room,” the supervisor said. “There are a ton of questions I could ask. It’s on the agenda.”

Mr. Crain said that he and three other members of the group, including Ms. Crain, the group’s secretary-treasurer, participated in the fast.

The Crains fasted for the same purpose last year and Mr. Crain said they thought it had been effective in stressing the seriousness of the issue and spreading concern among the community.

“We heard from a lot of people after that,” he said. “It started a conversation around the town and raised awareness.”

But he said the conversation had not yet elicited any results from Town Board members, and that the permitted hunting areas have been expanding since 2004 and now include residential areas.

Mr. Crain said the group has long believed that contraception would be a more humane method of controlling the deer population and has looked into pilot studies done in other areas that were successful. He said the program would have to be tested in East Hampton because the pilots have been done in enclosed areas.

Mr. Crain said the group hopes that in the least, the town will consider reducing hunting in residential areas because it also poses a danger to humans. Specifically, the group hopes to forbid hunting on Gerard Drive, which was added to a list of approved areas for waterfowl hunting last year, and Jacob’s Farm in Springs.

“Those are pretty residential areas,” he said. “Why are guns allowed to go off out there?”

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Iwe live off oak view hwy and there are gunshots going off all the time, called e.h police and they told me that the hunters were not to close to the house and it was legal.
I fear walking in the early morning or evening with the dogs for fear that one of us will be SHOT and found in the spring!
By ganset (3), east hampton on Jan 6, 10 9:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm on the same road and those shots are coming from waterways in Northwest Woods/3 Mile harbor and the farms on Long Lane. When you hear them on our quiet mornings they come across loud and clear even though they're a good couple of miles away. :-)
By RubyBaby (28), East Hampton on Jan 7, 10 7:25 AM
Bird hunters use a small round shot about the size of a pin's head. Anything over 200 feet and thay are almost harmeless, at 300 feet, they won't even break your skin. There is nothing to fear on Ten Pole.......Oakview Highway.

The REAL activists are the HUNTERS who are taking part in absolutly necessary deer population control. Without adequate population control the deer will disproportionally starve and die in this weather. How is this humane or better policy than culling the field by ...more
By Lost Tribe (66), East Hampton on Jan 7, 10 12:04 PM
I've lived here all my life (50 yrs)and have only heard of one occasion of someone being shot accidentally during hunting season. Now, I would guess there have been more, I don't follow the news that much, but trust me, more people are hit walking across the street than are accidentally shot. So hearing someone say something as idiotic as your "fear of being shot", makes me seeth. This place has a rich heritage of hunting and fishing. For me and many others, getting sustenance directly ...more
By maggi (7), East Hampton on Jan 7, 10 2:32 PM
how many times have you heard car verses deer and how many dead deer do you pass on the side of the road every day.seems like the persons complaining about hunting deer have grown up in the concrete jungle where there are more people shot there than here in bonac.
By asurest (117), easthampton on Jan 8, 10 7:22 AM
Over-development has causes these naimals to venture farther and farther in search of food. When you live in a rural environment you have to expect animals will run out into the raod. SLOW DOWN!!! These backwoods bumpkins will look for an excuse to eat anytihing...including roadkill!
By SportoJT (4), East Hampton on Jan 8, 10 3:57 PM
How very politically correct! LMAO!
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jan 8, 10 10:45 AM
at least roadkill is free of steroids and antibiotics and not wrapped in (one time use) Styrofoam and cellophane!...
By maggi (7), East Hampton on Jan 10, 10 10:54 AM
put em in a zoo
By asurest (117), easthampton on Jan 10, 10 6:07 PM
Hunting is local culture ; controls deer population ;
and is desired by those who prefer fresh meat.
These fasting folks need to get a life .
What extreme measures will be next ?
There are more important issues to have a
Summit about .
How about a Summit to Assimilate other
local cultures into the fabric of this community.
Tired of extremists setting new agendas and
politicians buying into it .
Mr Crain is putting his personal questioned agenda
out there ...more
By S.O.B (1), East Hampton on Jan 11, 10 1:12 AM
The whole deer issue is about safety and economics. There simple too many deer! The deer are a serious hazard to drivers. A serious vector for Lyme Disease. They are destroying all the flora. The situation is out of control. Hunters are the only solution that provides a temporary relief. More needs to be done.
By voter (33), Amagansett on Jan 14, 10 8:46 AM

I took this video. Every weekend early morning my children wake up to this and they are frightened. We cannot even feel safe in our own yard. Plus we love to take a walk in the forest but we cannot do that either because of fear being hit with an arrow or bullet. Just recently a college student died after being mistaken for a deer . Imagine the mother of this young women who simply went to study in the woods with friends. ? Then another ...more
By Caroline Thompson (30), Sag harbor on Mar 12, 10 7:26 PM