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Supervisor: Public 'Resoundingly Requested' Deer Culling Option

The sharpshooter plan will help to assist with a problem impacting public safety and the local economy, Russell said.

As controversy continues to swirl over a proposed sharpshooter program to cull the deer herd on the East End, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell discussed a coming forum to address the plan.

On Thursday, the Southold Deer Management Task Force will host a public informational meeting on the proposed deer project, a proposal by the Long Island Farm Bureau to cull deer herds as part of a multi-pronged approach to reduce damage caused by white-tailed deer that is destroying the ecosystem of Eastern Long Island, according to the supervisor.

Martin Lowney, state director United States Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services of New York State will be onhand to discuss the scope of the project and anticipated outcomes. The deer project is intended to complement existing practices to address the overpopulation of deer, Russell said.

The forum will begin at  6 p.m. at the Southold Recreation Center.

“The public resoundingly requested that the Southold Town Board pursue the option of culling herds as part of the town’s integrated deer management plan, and we believe this strategy will assist in addressing a complex problem impacting public safety and the local economy," Russell said.

For information, please contact the supervisor's office at 631-765-1889.

Frank T January 10, 2014 at 07:32 PM
Joe, it sounds like a lot of hunters who don't live here are against the culling because it may reduce the population and their chance to kill a deer. By the way bow hunting is the least humane way to kill a deer. Most deer are wounded by the bow hunters and die a slow painful death.
Michael Tessitore January 10, 2014 at 08:07 PM
"The real problem is with those who would propose such a vile and disgusting plan to begin with." This was the part, I liked most. Hunters For Deer advocates that hunting is the only way to manage deer on Long Island, where hunting is permitted of course. Using the USDA sniper teams to massacre deer, should be a burden only shared amongst the taxpayers of Southold, especially since non-resident hunters are denied access to town owned properties there. "The residents were NEVER told about the level of suffering and cruelty this plan would inflict on Long Islands deer." I believe she is referring to the netting method or maybe the corral of deer in a fence maze, then executing them, with rifles, as the other deer stand by. I don't like this picture either. Joe, I am sure that your office at town hall doesn't have a big enough window for you too get enough fresh air? Hunters don't torture animals. We take them cleanly and humanely. Don't get too wrapped up in drinking the "insider" koolaide, I hear it makes trolls angry. Hey Frank, Where is the data that most hunters wound deer? And the data for the rest of the propaganda your spew? Something tells me that those that support the cull are getting scared. I bet its going to cost you all more than your $25000 entry fee. "Don't be afraid to see what you see."
Frank T January 10, 2014 at 08:38 PM
Michael, I stated that bow hunters inflict the most injuries and wounds to deer. Check out a study by Animal Rights Coalition or ask Rose Kay.
Michael Tessitore January 10, 2014 at 08:52 PM
Frank T. in compared to what?
Lisa Finn (Editor) January 11, 2014 at 12:48 AM
Sorry, the story has been edited to include the time, 6 p.m. Please forgive the error.
pir2 January 11, 2014 at 07:30 AM
Like most problems not an easy solution. The most immediate soluition is the sharpshooter program but the drawbacks are obvious to those who find it objectionable and not so to many others. Why not a referrendum on the issue and let the vote decide the method and cost of whatever is decided. The given in the equation is that something will have to be done to decrease the population. The so-called gorilla in the room are the poorly thought out laws that have allowed the situation to grow. The DEC knew the problem was growing years ago and was unable or unwilling to push through a solution. I truly wonder what would happen if deer were the size of rats and rats the size of deer if we would be having this discussion?
joe insider January 11, 2014 at 07:55 AM
Mr. Tessitore. You seem quite agitated and are quick with the insults. I simply pointed out that you and another are singing the same song for two very separate reasons. I am willing to guess that Rose Kay would be equally against your organizations hunts as well. By the way, I am retired and, no, not from town government. My work involved dealing with many governments and agencies but it is not your business or concern. I have certainly seen many who advocate for self interest and you are one of them. Why don't you leave Southold's problems to Southold to solve. Try getting more hunting area in you own town. To town officials, ignore this opposition and get it done with already.
sally manwaring January 11, 2014 at 08:34 AM
I didn't know there was a population amount if deer allowed to live, seriously they were here first why not start culling everything humans too since we are over populated . I don't get it hunters that kill and eat are fine but to kill and destroy due to mass amounts is disgusting . Just my opinion
Andrea Aurichio January 11, 2014 at 08:37 AM
The meeting is at 6 p.m. according to the text of the article. It would be nice if the "reporter" posting the story could also give the location of the Town Recreation Center. What ever happened to who what when and WHERE?
John J. Rasweiler IV January 11, 2014 at 08:39 AM
The facts really are simple. The Town of Southold has repeatedly consulted a broad range of experts for advice on our deer-related problems. The only viable options are recreational hunting and the use of skilled, professional sharpshooters. Reliance upon the former is preferable, but meaningful deer harvesting is presently precluded by excessively restrictive state regulations. The methods used by the USDA are highly effective and humane. The administration of contraceptives (presently forbidden by state law and unaffordable) would necessitate capture of the deer. This would actually subject the animals to equal or longer periods of stress than quick euthanasia by gunshot. Informed members of our community recognize that productive steps to reduce our deer population are long overdue. The present risks to public health and safety, damage to our precious natural environment and biodiversity, and crop losses suffered by our farmers because of way too many deer are intolerable.
Rose Kay January 11, 2014 at 09:36 AM
Jan 4, 2014 Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) and John Campbell (R-Irvine) requested a review, calling for a complete audit of the culture within Wildlife Services under the USDA. The agency has been accused of abuses, including animal cruelty and occasional accidental killing of endangered species, family pets and other animals that weren't targeted. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-me-wildlife-killing-20140105,0,2146578.story#ixzz2q6BvNpZG Read....this article. Their methods are NOT highly effective or humane and this agency is under intense scrutiny now in Washington. Stop trying to justify your proposed plan, we are NOT buying it . We are New Yorkers and informed citizens and we want a humane solution, period.
forward thinking January 11, 2014 at 09:41 AM
jr1v - on the "target". one nuance could be to collect the deer and have a mass feed the poor or some creative method to give it to the needy. and any hunter worth their "salt" are "one shot one kill". the critique's must be around "armature -nite " shooters.
mike edelson January 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Where is the North Fork Animal Welfare League on this? The Sharpshooters may hurt some stray dogs if this is allowed.
ed finnegan January 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM
the facts are clear the options have been weighed and a decision has been made...do not waffle! initiate the cull
Claire January 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM
just do it already...
Bob Dunn January 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM
Discussion has been going on for several years. Everybody had a chance to speak. Decision was made. Respect it, that's how democracy works. Don't believe anybody is happy with a kill, but these herds are unnatural (as in nature)now.
Michael Tessitore January 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Joe, You say "Why don't you leave Southold's problems to Southold to solve." I am typing slower this time so you understand me. Southold does not own the white-tailed deer in their area, New York State taxpayers do. Not letting non-residents access your town owned properties does not constitute "private ownership". NYS ENCON law Section 11-0105 The State of New York owns all fish, game, wildlife, shellfish, crustacean and protected insects in the state, except those legally acquired and held in private ownership. At the heart of the model (which is used by the DEC -the North American Model of Wildlife Management) is the concept of wildlife as a public resource, owned by no one but held in trust by the government for the benefit of the people. Why does Brookhaven allow non-reidents to hunt their town properties, but the east end towns do not?
knee jerk January 11, 2014 at 02:48 PM
As a NYS taxpayer and owner of all fish, game, wildlife, shellfish, crustacean and protected insects I relinquish any and all rights to my share of said insects.
Lydia Tortora January 11, 2014 at 03:34 PM
If next Thursday's meeting was meant to be a public forum then why was the info given to the media after the weekly newspaper came out? Most folks don't read local news online and won't even be aware of the meeting till after it happens. Funny thing though, all the proponents of the plan knew about the meeting last week.
lana January 11, 2014 at 04:08 PM
How embarrassing. When I first read about this plan awhile ago, I swear I thought it was a joke. Using money, like actual money, to pay to round up deer to slaughter. It sounds like a satirical article that The Onion would write. Stop using the word "cull." Call it what it actually is - selective slaughtering. Maybe a solution to the deer coming out onto the roads would be to stop tearing apart the place where they live. Is there even any open land left in Riverhead? Riverhead is so over-commercialized. There is nowhere left for the deer to go. They have to keep moving. It really is astounding to me that people act like we own this world and the deer. Every living thing has its place here, not just humans. Get over yourselves. In the grand scheme of things, you are not that important. Being a grown man with a gun or a bow shooting and killing an animal that has no way to defend itself doesn't make you special. It doesn't make you more manly or a tough guy. You are not more important than the deer or any other animal for that matter. Just because it's legal, that doesn't mean it's right. We are the problem. It always has and always will be the case. We are both our planet and our own worst enemy. So...deer walk in front of cars causing accidents, they eat and damage crops, and they spread lyme disease, right? Some Fun Facts: - Deer cause about 200 fatalities a year in the US. ---- In the US, an estimated 10,228 people died in car accidents involving drunk driving. Texting while driving causes about 3,000 teenage deaths per year. - Annually, deer cause a reported $100 million in agricultural crop damage. ---- The U.S. Ranks No. 1 in the World with a Burglary Every 14 Seconds. In terms of cyber crime, the theft of intellectual property costs American companies $250 billion a year. - In 2012, there were about 20,000 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in the US. ----About 20 million people in the U.S. are currently infected with the STD known as HPV (which can cause infertility and several types of cancer). Each year, another 6.2 million people get a new HPV infection. Wow. The statistics are staggering. Deer, who? Looks like it's time to start "culling" some homo sapiens. I'll grab my bow!
Rose Kay January 11, 2014 at 05:24 PM
Allowing the notorious Wildlife Services to perform this task is outrageous. One of the most corrupt, venal, savage & incompetent government agencies in American history. They get laws repealed with a mere wink & a handshake to local politicians who allow our neighborhoods to be turned into a war zone. Apparently Wildlife Services is now spreading their sick carnage to the east where they can fleece the public even more. Remember, if they aren't killing they’re not making any money. They’ve been slaughtering our wildlife in the west for decades & now see a great opportunity to increase their savagery by jumping on the now popular deer killing bandwagon. This ruthless rouge agency should be disbanded & held accountable for its crimes, not invading our neighborhoods with lethal weapons maiming, torturing, killing & leaving a bloody trail all over the eastern portion of Long Island. ( This comment from a concerned resident says it all and bears repeating)
joe insider January 11, 2014 at 08:57 PM
Ms. Totora: Yeah, they really tried to keep it a secret from the local newspaper. By the way, it was advertised on page 5 of this week's paper. To Rose Kay and Ms Iana: Are you two for real ? Do you oppose hunters or just the cull? Is hunting them one at a time somehow more humane?
Benja Schwartz January 12, 2014 at 12:25 AM
Legitimate sharpshooting operations begin with a census of the animal population. Southold Town Board says it is impossible to count and locate deer. Everything is impossible if you refuse to even try. At the last meeting public in Southold, the USDA did not reveal what methods it is planing to use. For municipalities to contribute towards a $500,000 program without a clear picture of how the program will operate and what it will accomplish makes no sense.
Rose Kay January 12, 2014 at 07:49 AM
September 29, 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved drug #56228-40, GonaCon, a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) immunocontraceptive vaccine for white-tail deer, developed by the National Wildlife Research Center. This EPA approval sets the state for GonaCon's actual usage in the public domain, and it is not longer merely an "experimental drug" with all the caveats previously surround it as such. No longer can anyone make the argument that you must kill the deer to control them as the only viable management option. This was used as a trial on Fire Island till 2010 and the deer pop. was reduced by 70% ,till county executives abolished its use so sport hunting could resume. The USDA is well aware of such humane methods without a single shot being fired. This is the safest solution for the animals and the public.
Lisa Finn (Editor) January 12, 2014 at 10:48 AM
There is a link to the Southold Town Recreation Center, but just in case it's not showing up, the address for the forum is 920 Peconic Boulevard, Peconic, NY, 11958.
mike edelson January 12, 2014 at 02:43 PM
Stop this misguided killing. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation in western North Carolina is seeking to restock white-tailed deer for its reservation. Perhaps the tribe would trap and transport deer from the town. It should be investigated. We should avoid the cowboy sharpshooters.
knee jerk January 12, 2014 at 04:04 PM
I agree with Rose Kay, the deer should be trained to have safe sex as a means of reducing their population.
mike edelson January 13, 2014 at 04:52 PM
i suggest a program of civil disobedience to prevent the shootings. Volunteers can position themselves prominently near where the shooters lay in wait. Keep making noise until they give up.
knee jerk January 13, 2014 at 06:31 PM
Civil disobedience will only work if it done in a group, not alone. If you do it alone you'll be classified as a kook. Also, in this case, don't wear camo, even if it is in fashion now. Orange would be a lot better.
mike edelson January 14, 2014 at 05:43 PM
I dress in red with my white beard. Maybe Target would offer financial support for the project to stop the sharpshooters?

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