POLL: Is the Deer Problem Getting Better or Worse?

Southold Town is into its third year running a deer management program — do you think it's working?

Hunters are using bow and arrow to on the North Fork and some farmers and gardeners are taking advantage of

But are these techniques working to help balance out life for humans and deer on this small space of land? What have you been seeing out there? Have you taken your car to the shop yet after colliding with a deer this year?

Take our poll and feel free to comment in the boxes below.

Erin Schultz (Editor) November 16, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Carmine Arpaia said on Facebook: "worse...we have roving herds that regularly graze on my yard every morning and night. They dont even run away when you attempt to chase them off anymore."
Dan November 16, 2011 at 02:11 PM
While the herd thinning is on it's own merit a good idea, there really aren't enough good hunting places left to properly reduce the deer population. I have two does with their offspring living 50 feet from my kitchen door for the past three years and I have a feeling that's not all that unusual. We have just the right mix of country and suburbia to create a perfect breeding area for deer. I'm afraid it's going to take a lot more than hunting to solve the problem, unfortunately there is no one simple solution. Nature is clearly out of balance in this instance.
Erin Schultz (Editor) November 16, 2011 at 03:21 PM
John Grilli said on Facebook: "the only way to thin the deer population is for the bowhunters to start taking mature does before being able to take a buck."
Karin Jensen-Mirabile November 16, 2011 at 03:50 PM
I don't purport to know anything about thinning herds, the pros and cons of bow hunting--but I do know that we moved here so that we could be a part of the country--what little is left on Long Island. I love seeing the deer graze in my yard; my heart breaks when I see a carcass on the side of the road. It may be simple but, 'can't we all just get along'?
Erin Schultz (Editor) November 16, 2011 at 04:26 PM
I have to comment myself on this one ... I went running the other day in my neighborhood down Wickham Ave. in Mattituck toward Bailie Beach per usual, it was just as the sun was going down and the moon was rising -- beautiful. But once I hit the curve where residential becomes fields, I was literally running with the herd. They were huge deer too! And they were not afraid of me -- I took it as a compliment to my loving personality but I literally had to shoo them off of the roadway before someone came barreling through that stretch like they normally do and I would be witness to some kind of car/deer/human carnage. Of course I didn't have my camera on me -- I will bring one with me next time so you can see how many there were and how close I was to them.
Benja Schwartz November 16, 2011 at 05:47 PM
Dear Deer, In the wild deer are beautiful and natural. But severe reductions of natural predators, followed by regulations restricting hunting, followed by elimination of natural habitat, followed by provision of surplus food, has resulted in growth of large populations of suburban deer which are living in our backyards and are unhealthy and dangerous. Restoration of natural predators does not seem likely anytime soon. Restoration of natural habitat is also not foreseeable in the near future. While hunting regulations are being relaxed, resumption of widespread hunting faces many practical chalenges. For hunting to be successful as a means of population control well over 50% of the population must be killed. Low levels of hunting only temporarily thin the herd. The slightly lower population is less stressed, better fed and with more territory per deer. The result is an increase in birth rate that more than cancels out the temporary reduction due to low levels of hunting. While restoring the balance of nature may seem like a tall order. Some people still don't believe that humans have the ability to disrupt nature. Enthusiastic creative efforts have accomplished miracles Removal of surplus food can be done in two ways. It can be accomplished by switching to grow plants which deer do not like to eat, and also by stopping to grow the plants deer enjoy eating. There are other strategies worth pursuing, but the food sources are in our control and out of control.
Benja Schwartz November 16, 2011 at 05:56 PM
The population of Southold Town is around 25,000 people and 10,000 deer. I have raised related issues at Official Town Public Meetings, but unless you agree with the officials and their inner circles, and thus really have nothing to say, Southold Town officials are not really listening.
Ditty51 November 17, 2011 at 12:04 AM
the deer were here before us. leave them alone!
Claire November 17, 2011 at 02:14 AM
just talk to someone with chronic lyme/babiosis etc. and there is your answer.
forward thinking November 17, 2011 at 05:57 AM
Erin Schultz (Editor) November 17, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Denise Lechler said on Facebook: "getting worse"
Karin Jensen-Mirabile November 17, 2011 at 03:48 PM
I wonder if there is a poll in the "North Fork Wildlife Patch"--Is the people population getting better or worse on the North Fork? :)
Erin Schultz (Editor) November 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM
LOL, Karin -- we'll save for next week. Would love to see the commentary on that one! :)
TheLoraxLI November 17, 2011 at 04:22 PM
Referring to the comment that we should grow plants that deer do not eat, what plants are those? All plants I have been planting recently are on the local menu for the resident deer even they were on the 'deer resistant' plant lists. The only plants they seem not to touch are non-native species. Are we to plant alien plants on our properties to keep the deer out? That too will change as new fawns will eat almost anything. Where does it end plastic plants?
Laura Mingoia November 17, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Yes, barreling through the neighborhood as they normally do. Now isn’t it bette to say yes to nature and the beauty of the beast and have the population SLOW DOWN… Less people killed in general.
Laura Mingoia November 17, 2011 at 05:19 PM
YES ! Leave them alone and let them live and interact with nature. I am one for unity and making things better, not for intentionally killing innocent animals.
Laura Mingoia November 17, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Do your research if you truly do care about the deer. If you are like most and just plain old interested in materialistic things, and the total look of your yard, well then keep pretending you do not know how to look up deer proofing your yard on google.
Benja Schwartz November 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Good Points! A good google search to start with is http://www.google.com/search?q=native+deer+resistant+plants
Tom November 18, 2011 at 12:55 AM
The deer problem is worse than in past years, but significantly better than last year. Last year's harsh winter had a noticeably negative effect on the herd in general. Perhaps putting a $100 or $200 bounty on each doe harvested by legal bowhunters while on town land, or in other legal areas, would help the problem. In this down economy, I am certain there would be some who would rather sit in a deer stand all day hoping to make some money. How do we pay for it? Possibly town funds, possibly solicit contributions from Allstate, Geico, or Progressive. Maybe private contributions. Either way, each doe harvested is another stress factor on the herd, and will prevent more fatal or injurious accidents on our roadways. Plus, the meat gets donated to the poor. Sounds like we're handling 4 problems at once, thinning the herd, employing the unemployed, feeding the needy, and preventing accidents.
TheLoraxLI November 20, 2011 at 12:32 PM
Unfortunately deer do not read those lists.
harold gordon November 20, 2011 at 01:10 PM
yes, the deer are beautiful!..I love to look at the herd of 8-12 deer as I go 10 miles an hour down Grand and Reeves, even when some impatient driver behind me passes at 40mph (obviously a visiter), BUT, after having 2 encounters with deer running into my car (0ver $5-7,000 in damage with $1000 deductible + reduction of value in trade in-luckily no personal injuries( incurred to me ..not so for the deer) on the Main road and Sound Avenue, i would like to see them enjoying their lives somewhere else.
Amy K. Martin November 20, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Having just planted only deer-resistant plants at a friends home this past year - It has become clear that there are no such plants anymore and they will even remove bird netting from plants so they can browse... they are nearly tame and I felt they were standing around watching me plant waiting for the new salad bar to open...& when you protect some plants they start eating things they'd never bothered before as if in spite... Seems every doe has 2 young meaning they're extremely healthy...
Karin Jensen-Mirabile November 20, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Time for a NEW POLL: Is the bicyclist problem getting better or worse on the North Fork--specifically on PB Blvd? You cannot walk your dogs, go for a run or even drive. These rude persons ride 3 or more across. Sometimes there are 50 or more!
Laura Mingoia November 21, 2011 at 12:37 AM
My daughter has advanced lyme and we both agree THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO HANDLE THIS…]
TheLoraxLI November 21, 2011 at 01:43 AM
Yes, but when is bicyclist season? Tourist season is over already...
Benja Schwartz November 21, 2011 at 08:35 AM
Thus article is fast disappearing below the radar. Too bad since the thrust of this thread, deer-resistant plants, was not well developed. The deer have never touched our garlic patch! Does anyone else have experience with plants that deer do not eat? Maybe Patch can do an article?
Amy K. Martin November 22, 2011 at 07:35 PM
they don't seem to like butterfly bushes & euphorbias....
Joyce Grigonis November 23, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Equilibrium? Really?! Lets get a grip on reality here and turn the movie 'Bambi' off. The only way to get 'natural equilibrium' is to introduce wolves and mountain lions. And that is ridiculous if not quite insane. At the turn of the century, there were approximately 500,000 deer on the continental US. As of the Cornell Survey taken a few years ago, there are now well over 20,000,000 deer in the continental US. Look it up on the Cornell website. This is a FACT. That number is probably close to or over 30,000,000 now since deer herds can double every few years*. (*info also found at the Cornell website) That number may even be closer to 40 million now. The ONLY way to reach equilibrium is to reduce those numbers back to 500,000. 75 hunters for a few months isn't going to do diddly squat to the current deer infestation. We need massive annihilation of the herd, leaving 1% is still too many. And we need to look at this, primarily, from a 'Vector Control' point of view. And then secondarily, from a road hazard point of view. Billions spent every year on auto body work and medical bills due to injuries from deer collisions. Not to mention the billions spent every year treating tick borne diseases that deer spread. Deer spread several potentially deadly diseases, just like mosquitoes, and should be treated the same way. NY State, and Bambi lovers, need to get a grip and deal with the problem in a practical, realistic way.
robert chambers June 06, 2012 at 06:54 PM
If anyone wants a bowhunter to take a few deers during the deer season let me know. Fishliny2@aol.com


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