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Sep 16, 2014 4:39 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Deer Committee Recommends Bow Hunting With Eye Toward Spaying

Sep 16, 2014 5:48 PM

The East Hampton Town Deer Management Advisory Committee has released its annual report, which recommends that the Town Board use local, trained volunteers to do selective bow hunting on town and private land starting on a small scale this hunting season.

In its report, the committee suggests additionally allowing a few select hunters to kill deer on some Wednesdays at the town’s sanitation facilities in Montauk and East Hampton, when they are closed, or in the northern section of Springs.

Another way the town could start controlling the herd would be to offer nuisance permits allowing hunters to kill deer on public properties out of season, perhaps in February or March when land is not used much recreationally, the committee said.

As it often is in such programs, the meat from harvested deer could be required to be donated to local food pantries, the committee’s report said.

A number of additional properties became eligible this year for hunting when Governor Andrew Cuomo changed the setback limit for bow hunting, cutting it from 500 feet from residential properties and buildings to 150 feet, according to town officials. In July, the Town Board approved the addition of 300 acres of town-owned property to be opened up to bow hunting and 174 acres at Culloden in Montauk to firearm hunting.

In addition to having more land open for this hunting season, which starts October 1 and runs through December 31, the State Department of Environmental Conservation is looking to keep bow hunting open through January, and to extend firearm hunting to the weekends. Currently, hunting with firearms is allowed only on weekdays in January.

The town will need to adjust its January permit and lottery system in response, since both bow hunters and hunters using firearms would be applying for January slots, if the DEC goes forward with these changes.

Town Councilman and Deer Management Advisory Committee liaison Fred Overton said it appears the state is allowing more hunting in general. “I hope it’s to give us a little better opportunity to further control the herd,” he said. “A few more days of hunting would give us better control over the herd.”

The committee, however, sees the merit of a non-lethal approach in its report. Over the course of this year, the committee has met with researchers and experts on deer spaying, but for now said it simply will closely follow East Hampton Village’s planned doe spaying program this winter, according to Zachary Cohen, the committee’s chairman. The village’s program will also incorporate hunting.

“I’m thrilled that the village, with mainly private donations, is going forward with this,” Mr. Cohen said on Tuesday. “It’s hard for the town or the village at the moment to put all its money into results that really aren’t there yet. We want something like this in future ... I’m glad the town is going to at least cooperate and going to help in some experiments, but it will not put up money.”

The report states that the deer management coordinator will work with Dr. Anthony DiNicola, who will lead the deer spaying in the village, to use adjacent property within town boundaries as control areas for the program.

In the meantime, the recommendation for the next year is to see how the spaying program goes, but also to gather hard numbers on how many deer are hit by vehicles and the deer’s effect on forest ecology.

Mr. Cohen said the hope is to work with Tom Rawinski of the U.S. Forest Service to learn techniques using plants as an index to measure the impact of the deer population, and suggests that the town budget for the relatively minor expense it would take to have Mr. Rawinski visit.

“We’re trying to reach out, but we’re trying to learn,” Mr. Cohen said. “We’re definitely not trying to be dictatorial in any way, and we want to be respectful.”

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the town board are horrible cruel soulless people to allow the killing and maiming of Gods creatures for no damn good reason!!! Why are you doing this, because of speeders getting into accidents slaughtering our wildlife??? or because the hoity toitys are upset there plants and flowers are being eaten by wildlife - GO BACK TO THE CONCRETE JUNGLE YOU CRAWLED OUT OF IF YOU HATE NATURE AND WILDLIFE SO MUCH - bow hunting should never be allowed it is barbaric and the chance of maiming instead of killing ...more
By DonnaRubino (1), on Sep 19, 14 8:54 AM
Wait until the first errant arrow strikes....it could end up on your doorstep..hopefully it won't strike your family pet or CHILD.
By Woods woman (138), East hampton on Sep 22, 14 9:30 PM
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