Wildlife Advocates, Hunters Unite Against Sharpshooter Cull at East Hampton Rally

About 300 people, largely from East Hampton, protested the USDA program to cull the deer on Saturday.

About 300 people turned out for a rally in East Hampton to voice their opposition to the sharpshooter deer cull program. 

Organized by the The East Hampton Group for Wildlife, which has already filed suit against East Hampton town, village, and the town trustees, organized the "No Cull" rally and demonstration. 

East Hampton Town and Village, along with Southold Town, has agreed to a program that would eliminate 2,000 to 3,000 deer on the East End. The Long Island Farm Bureau secured $250,000 in grant funding to embark upon the United State Department of Agriculture's sharpshooter program to reduce the number of deer.

Demonstrators held signs that said, "No Science? No Cull!" and "Save the Deer," and "Please Don't Kill My Mommy." 

Ron Delsener, the well-known rock concert promoter who has a house in East Hampton Village and is funding the group's lawsuit, helped kick off the rally by comparing former town councilman Dominick Stanzione, credited with the town's deer management plan, to former vice president Dick Cheney. "He never said let the local hunters do what they do every year," he said.

The rally was supported by other organizations, such as Hunters for Deer, local hunters who don't want to see federal intervention take place, and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, known as LION.

The rally started at the Hook Mill in East Hampton at 1 p.m. Demonstrators then marched with their signs to Herrick Park, with some chanting, "What do we want? Stop the cull. When do we want it? Now." They gathered at the park for about an hour for dispersing. 

Bill Crain, a Montauk resident and founder of the Group for Wildlife, asked the crowd, largely East Hampton residents, to write the village and town boards. "Tell them: If they want to be re-elected, stop this cull. Change their minds. They don't have a chance of re-election if they are going to pursue if they are going to pursue this barbaric, murderous slaughter. Let them know, we will not stand for this," he said.

Scattered in the crowd were residents from outside East Hampton, such as Kelvin Bryant, a Yapank hunter who brought his 12-year-old son Benjamin with him in protest in support of Hunters for Deer and Long Island Archers. "They are spending thousands of taxpayers' dollars on this and we would do it for nothing and we have the same results that they would expect from the USDA culling these deer." 

Police presence was low, though traffic control officers helped stop traffic for marchers to cross the street and for photographers to safely take photographs of the crowd. 

The protest was peaceful except for one dust-up between Delsener and Patricia Hope, a former biology teacher who attended the rally to pass out fliers called, "Culling East Hampton's Deer Herds: There Is A Better Way To Do It." 

Delsener  yelled at Hope to leave. "It's my rally not yours," he said. You're an animal," he said. "She's for the cull," he told the crowd. "

However, Hope, a member of the East Hampton School Board, said Delsener didn't understand her position at all. Her flier states, "We don't need to bring riflemen to East Hampton to slaughter our white-tailed deer. We can address the control of conception within the herds." She wants to see East Hampton research immuno-contraception, an innovative method of birth control without the chemicals that contaminate other species. 

Dell Cullum January 21, 2014 at 04:08 AM
I know Martin, we could discuss this all day all night and forever more. Made some great points and I thank you for that. It isn't the same place anymore and I absolutely need to accept that, although hard as it might be. This has never been a hunting issue to me Martin. I'm not an anti hunter... I am an anti slaughter for no reason supporter. I honestly believe even if the state regs favored the hunter and allowed them more opportunity to better manage deer populations, the cull would still be on. The people behind this atrocity don't care about the food for the poor or where the meat is going..they want the deer eliminated and they are willing to make up a bunch of non founded reasons to fill weak and old minds to convince them the deer are dangerous and the species must be slaughtered. And you Martin, a hunter... this cull takes that food off your plate. So, your ok with the federal government coming into your town and killing the animals you hunt for food, taking that food from you and putting it into a storage unit where is a 50 / 50 chance of it ultimately ending up in the waste stream? That's fine if you are, I just don't find the logic in this way of thinking. You are also right on the money with your statement Selfish Humans Come First. I'm glad you at least added selfish. But let me remind you Martin, it was David that defeated Goliath. 16K to 300 people. People defy the odds hundreds of times a day. Your going to be surprised what 300+ can do. Now for your Patch comments. I think this is the second time I've come on here to discuss an issue related to the topic. Last time went horribly wrong, lol and apparently I forgot that when I tried again here. I was under the impression people could discuss the issue here without personalities guiding it into other areas. Now that you reminded me this IS Troll central I will look elsewhere to discuss the topic like a real person rather than with people who want others to take them seriously yet cannot use their names... (still loving the hate mail comment). And your on here a lot Martin? Hey, I love your "RANTS" and yes brother that's what they are,...just like mine. Opinions are personal beliefs shared gently knowing everyone has their own. Rants are personal in your face expressions that your so passionate about you feel the need to tell the world. An "Opinion Out of Control". You have a message, I have a message. They might be different but that's ok. Personally, my beef (no pun intended) is there is no reason to thin the deer population as it's NOT out of control. Selfish humans can correct many of the deer / human issues, that seem to just bother some of the the humans. Hunters can manage the populations in some areas and sterilization in others. It's just NOT necessary to MASS KILL these animals...period. Hiring federal shooters on taxpayers dime of people who are strongly against this also wrong. STAGING KILL AREAS AND SHOOTING IN AND AROUND THE NATURE TRAIL????? Come on Martin, not even YOU could find an angle to back this disaster. But if you could I'd love to hear it. Lastly, I am behind you in your crusade for the motor bike trail issue. I'm not a rider myself but when we were kids we use to go to a place behind the old sand pits off 27 by rest stop west side in Wainscott. They had a mini bike club and we used to ride on some cool trails. As we got older we would use the railroad trails as well. My nephew was also a motor cross champion. ANyway, best of luck and thanks for communicating with me here like a person. It's refreshing. Be well friend...
Michael Tessitore January 21, 2014 at 05:36 AM
Dell Cullum January 21, 2014 at 06:54 AM
Thanks Mike. Great post. I'm going to leave this forum and shoot you an email.
jane stuart January 21, 2014 at 09:25 AM
and how sharp are those shooters? are they going to insure they won't be shooting a resident who is walking his/her dog in the dark. has anyone noticed we are very shy of street lights in our town? and what about the horses?
Nanci e. LaGarenne January 21, 2014 at 01:54 PM
Might I suggest a bit of sense and sensibility here? I was not at the 'stop the cull' rally on Saturday. I was not in town that day, but if I was, I would have chosen not to protest, though if I was home and knew Pat Hope was going to speak, I would have attended. The woman is one smart cookie! She is also a realist and a scientist, a retired chair head of a science department, a retired teacher, a school board member, and a mother, a well read person, a non- hysterical person, and a highly regarded member of our community. I speak truth, I do not have to kiss anyone's arse or join any bandwagon. I have stood alone when I had to stand up fir myself. And I have stood with my community members in other protests I was passionate about that mattered. Like over-building out here and safe local drinking water. Do I want a "deer slaughter?" Of course not. Do I think I am better than you if I choose to not eat meat? No. I do by the way, eat meat. And I am still my sweet self in spite of it. And it is my business, nobody else's. I am trying to exist on the planet too and do what's right for me. And my loved ones. And the rest of the world. Yes, starting locally, absolutely concerns me. I do not live in a bubble. However, attacking those we differ in opinion from, is being as fundamentalist as the next group, in my humble opinion. Hunters can hunt, in my book. They feec their families in winter, locally. You do know that everyone cannot go shop at Citterella and eat out at the great vegan places, right? And who are we to judge them? You do know too that we are not supposed to feed the deer? Maybe you don't know that. There are too many and they have lost their habitat, true. And I can guarantee Ron Delsner's house left a bigger footprint than most of the locals. Let us not judge though. Anyone who calls a woman, let alone a good upstanding brilliant woman like Pat Hope, an "animal," is out of flipping line! Pat is smart and the insult probably rolled off her smart back, considering the source, but still, totally wrong. And "... this is my rally...." Oh, really, Ron Delsner?? I thought it was a group community rally?! Well there you have it, my two cents. Am I an advocate of the cull? No. Am I naive in thinking we do not have a deer, Lyme disease problem out here? No. Am I anti-hunters? Nope. Am I evil, then? Bloodthirsty? Nope. Hardly. Am I good with myself? Yep. I know the value of balance. And reason. And this arena could use some very much.


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