Montauk Couple Protest Deer Hunting with Hunger Strike, Briefly Interupt Town Meeting

Bill and Ellen Crain have called for the town to ban hunting on town-owned lands.

For the third year in conjunction with shotgun hunting season, Montauk residents Bill Crain and his wife Ellen Crain have set out on a three-day hunger strike as a protest to hunting in East Hampton Town. Shotgun hunting season began on Jan. 3 and lasts all month.

Wearing a sign that read "Hunger Strike for Deer" around his neck, Bill Crain briefly interrupted a jam-packed town board meeting on Tuesday that had been .

The outburst, in which Crain announced his mission, was short. Outside of , Crain said the town board had allowed hunting to become unusually cruel.

"This year the board added 89 acres for the bow hunting of deer, even though numerous studies around the country have found that about half the deer hit by arrows are wounded and left to die slow, agonizing deaths," the Crains' handout said. They founded East Hampton Group for Wildlife in 2004, and have sought alternatives, such as deer contraception, to hunting.

"Just to add acres of bow hunging is excepptionally cruel," Crain said. Of the hunger strike, which the couple started on Monday night, he said, "It's a way of expressing the depth of our concern for the suffering of the deer."

Ellen Crain said the hunger strike is difficult, but "Everytime I think of my headache, I think of the deer getting shot."

While the Crains said they know hunting is regulated by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, they called for the town to take charge. They would like the town and the DEC to ban bow hunting and for the town to develop a plan to eliminate hunting on town-owned lands.

Theresa Quigley, a town board member, who asked Bill Crain to step aside when he interupted the meeting said later that she had no problem with their protest or presence. "What was not fine was Mr. Crain's interruption of all of those people who had waited so patiently and gracefully for their turn to speak" during the open forum on storm erosion. 

"I did say to him at the end, 'Mr. Crain, imagine if everyone simply walked up and did what you did.  It would be pure chaos.'" 

ly January 05, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Bow hunting!, how disgusting and why a bullet doesn't inflict enough suffering on the poor animal. How barbaric, really any man who hunts is such a coward, he must need something to stroke his non existent ego. He is not a man, but a looser. Tojust sit in a tree and wait for a animal to go walking by and wait... let me get out my arrow as you eat your grass. Hold still ...while I pull back and kill you! Wow, now this makes me a man lets get the pitchure to show my pathetic looser friends. Then lets tie it to the top of my quad cause I'm too fat and lazy to actually drag the animal out. Then there is my wife who only wants to get rid of me for the day she will cook the nasty meat! (No matter how you cook it it's tastes nasty, )"oh wait, mmm this is the best!" Hunters are gross people!
Gail Simons January 05, 2011 at 11:30 AM
I wish patch had a "like" button on comments! Ly, I like your comment! Hunting these days is absolutely all about ego and testosterone. Anyone who says otherwise is in denial.
omghi January 05, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Are they still hungry? I have some extra venison.
Peter Stonsby January 05, 2011 at 02:05 PM
The culture I stand for is sometimes lost into today’s society, when in fact society was built on the culture of the Hunter. A Hunter is more than a predator; a Hunter is a provider…a caretaker…a leader. I will never make excuses for who I am… It’s the way I was born… I’m a Hunter…
Peter Stonsby January 05, 2011 at 02:12 PM
And to sat that the meat ( venison ) tastes" nasty" is a very uneducated view on one of the most revered meats among the culinary society. Go out on the net and try to purchase some, you will find that only the affluent and the Hunter may enjoy this delicacy. Am I in denial because I like to satiate the primal instinct to hunt? For me, it would be similar to denying me sex, which is perhaps the problem with the posters here...
PJ Delia January 05, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Bow hunting! This is revolting! The hunting itself is awful but this is boundless cruelty.
md January 06, 2011 at 05:26 PM
I personally could never kill an animal, and I do agree a lot of hunters are wankers, however, there are some unpleasant facts about nature that we might not like but it is just reality. Deer have evolved to be predated upon. Before humans they were getting their entrails ripped out by packs of wolves and mountain lions, now it's bullets and cars. I would actually prefer more with the bullets and less with the cars. Also, if you eat supermarket meat, you need to just shut up, you are being a total hypocrite. Even a deer that doesn't die quickly from an arrow or bullet has still had a better life than any factory-farm animal.
denito August 02, 2012 at 08:22 AM
i smell a bunch of hamptons ignoramuses.
RL December 11, 2012 at 01:35 AM
It amazes me that after all these years of studies,education and awareness, that there are still morons out there who beileve that those of us who hunt are barbaric, mindless, testoserone filled loosers......Really??? The monies collected from purchases by sportsman for retail products, licensing fees, associated travel, fuel, food, lodging, etc, is enough to support a medium sized country, and probably could buy several hundred East Hamptons! Please go back under a rock you bafoon...and oh, by the way, let me know how much it costs you next time a 165 lb whitetail runs into your car.......Hopefull you will walk away from the accident
GW December 11, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Huh? So I guess I should get all of my meat from the local grocery store... That is way better. I'd much rather eat a piece of a pig that was blasted with hormones and antibiotics, left in a tight pen in a factory farm, loaded into a truck with open sides while it is driven down the highway in the middle of winter, run through a series of pens while the smell of blood is in the air, be put in a line with other shreaking scared animals, then have it end with a bolt to my head. Don't even get me started on chickens having their beaks removed so they don't all kill each other in their coops. People who make the argument that hunting is cruel and all about killing likely haven't met a lot of real hunters. The people that I know that hunt, including myself, have a deep respect for nature and animals. We understand that we are taking life. This is why we spend countless hours honing shots to make the kill as quick as possible. I think that people who suggest that hunting for meat today is barbaric while they chomp down on meat that came from the supermarket are the ultimate in hypocrisy. If you saw how many farm animals are treated and filled full of toxic crap you'd change your opinion. Your ignorance of where your meat comes from shines bright whenever you get upset about someone humanely killing a wild animal that lived a full life in the bush. And btw venison has been the meat of kings for centuries. It is far from nasty tasting.
Preliator December 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Morons....I want to see the Crains out in Montauk protesting the fishing boats. What have they done about the poor scallops, do the Crains have time for them. What about duck, can these two morons put on some gear and go save the ducks? What about the clams, ripped from their watery homes, have the Crains done any thing to protect them and their little clam families? No...what a bunch of bigots. What we have here are media hogs who a couple times a year get the thrill of being in the paper, on a 'hunger strike'...yeah right, can any one verify that...just people starved for attention.
Brian December 11, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Amazing to see the Hamptoners protesting the barbaric act of harvesting an animal as they walk around in leather boots, Cucci handbags and slouch back in their foreign sports cars with thousand dollar leather seats. O yeah, I'll have the glazed duck as well! I guess if you pay for it then the killing is OK.
Leeada Johnson December 12, 2012 at 08:08 AM
Often it seems that people who go on their indiscriniate rants demonizing others as LY has done have no life of their own, and a great deal of anger and hate they need to vent on others. There is nothing wrong with killing your own meat. Ask Peter Singer philosopher author of "Animal Liberation"
Leeada Johnson December 12, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Dear Gail, I see you have appointed yourself omniscient judge of all the world, all wise and all knowing. Hopefully you wil spend some time saving the Planet, before declaring war on hunter gatherers. As Freud wrote, hoplophobes such as yourself have a lack of sexual maturity and security.
Leeada Johnson December 12, 2012 at 08:15 AM
Perhaps PJ Della might actually reference us with some reliable source before spouting forth slogans about cruelty, over something that she apparently know less than nothing.
Leeada Johnson December 12, 2012 at 08:18 AM
I would let them not eat as long as they wish


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