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Feb 3, 2015 12:13 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Group Forms Human Picket Fence To Oppose Extended Hunting

Feb 3, 2015 12:36 PM

Protesters formed a human picket fence in front of the Two Holes of Water nature preserve on Saturday to protest the extended hunting season and a deer sterilization program in East Hampton Town.

As a method of population control, a doe-spaying program is under way in East Hampton Village, in where does are captured, surgically spayed in the field, and then tagged and released. Members of East Hampton Group for Wildlife say the practice is inhumane, and they also say they do not want any more deer to be killed by hunters in an extended hunting season, which ended Saturday.

This year, the bow hunting season was extended into January for the first time on town-owned parkland. The season had previously been from October 1 to December 31. Firearm hunting was once allowed in January only during the week, but this year the state and town opened up weekend hunting for firearm hunters in January on town land.

Bill Crain, president of East Hampton Group for Wildlife, said on Monday that the group has appeared before the Town Board several times pleading for the town not to add any more hunting. He said that the board members always listened politely but are stubborn.

“I think the board is out of touch with the general population,” he said, adding that the group is working on a petition against hunting and the inhumane treatment of deer.

On Monday afternoon, Supervisor Larry Cantwell said the protest was a little late.

“The Town Board made the decision [to allow bow-hunting in January] over a month ago, and that season is over now,” he said. “The Town Board supports hunting on appropriate town lands and as part of the town’s deer management program, and I understand that the East Hampton Group for Wildlife wants no deer hunted, but hunting has been a long tradition in this community. This is for an additional eight days in an entire year, and we think it is manageable and appropriate. We have a deer problem, and this may be a small step as part of the management plan the town has adopted.”

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