Deer Management Plan Under Fire

Proposal to cull the deer population seen as cruel, while others think the population will quickly rebound, Newsday reports.

The Town of East Hampton's deer management plan has drawn criticism, as evident by a two-hour public hearing on Thursday night.

Newsday reported that the plan, which calls for a five-year effort to cull the deer population at first and then find other methods to keep the heard down, didn't garner much support from residents at the meeting. There are those who believe the part of the proposal that calls for killing hundreds of deer is too cruel, while others think the deer population will rebound just as fast as its killed off. 

Others that spoke out said the plan is too expensive. Organized hunts were estimated at $80,000 to $100,000. 

Newsday reported:

"I think most of them didn't read the report," said Councilman Dominick J. Stanzione, who spearheaded the work on the plan. 

Other government agencies are currently reviewing the plan. East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. has lent his support to the plan (see attached letter). 

What do you think about the plan? Click here to read the proposal.

Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Via East Hampton Patch on Facebook, Dominick M. Koscielniak said: "Cruel, expensive and inefficient. Feed deer a contraceptives instead."
Bonac Refugee December 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Contraceptives are NOT a possibilty at this time.There are NO contraceprives that have been proven to be effective at controlling non captive wildlife populations or have been approved by the FDA for use in controlling wildlife populations.Contraceptive are not an option no matter how much the anti hunters cry for their use.
amagansett voter December 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
It is time to act. The situation worse by the day. The deer population of 3 to 5 thousand in East Hampton is absurd. Multiple approaches are necessary to reverse this environmental menace. Hunt, sterilize, euthanize, etc now. Raise the money. Stop the pests from destroying what is left. Stop the disease vectors. Stop the car accidents. Stop fencing of the town. Stop it all now.
Heather Dunn-Kostura December 11, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I certainly don't know what the answer is but I do know I have had Lyme disease twice. I don't understand what the problem with hunting is. There are hungry people everywhere. I have yet to hit a deer or be hit by one, but I figure it's only a matter of time. What about the farming we do have? We are overrun and something needs to be done.
SadderBudweiser December 12, 2012 at 01:28 AM
How about we save our taxpayers 50k and just count the dead ones?
ViralGrain December 12, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Why not just find a University to come here and do a study on the deer population and its effect on urban development. There are way too many variables in this area to come up with an estimate account that is remotely accurate. To try to do so would be a waste of money. Since they mostly travel at night identifying them with even the best trail cameras would be next to impossible since they all have pretty much the same markings and the resolutions in this type of cameras are not designed to pick up subtle characteristics especially in the dark. Some areas people feed them. Other areas have neighborhoods made up of acreages of private property. They migrate between these areas. Heard populations are not conforming to the same status quo as they once had prior to the overdevelopment of our community. They have adapted to their surroundings as should we. Think of the stress we have put them under with our uncontrolled appetite for land and resources. No wonder why they want to jump infront cars. Let people hunt on their own land for FOOD not sport or nuisance control, and see how it goes in a year.
Janice Badkin December 12, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The deer population has grown so large that "humane" methods are no longer an option. Stop wasting time and money. Shoot them now and again later if necessary.
Cathy - Amagansett December 12, 2012 at 02:04 PM
My family has a long history here. One of the first families to settle in East Hampton. They were hunters & gatherers. Its how they lived. Many male members of my family hunt and I get some of the meat from their kills. In the "Hamptons" it costs a lot of money to feed a family - meat prices have increased and this meat off sets those costs. I understand some who say its cruel, but I eat meat and will not apologize for that. I do not judge, therefore why should I be? Our TRUE hunters are good at what they do, provide food for their families and for the needy and are some of the most spoken out conservationists round. Who do you think started Ducks Unlimited, a wonderful conservation organization. The population is out of control because so many limits have been set by the officials, based on those who are not true locals, who don't live the way we locals have lived and continue to live today, paycheck to paycheck. Unimproved land (wildlife habitat) has diminished so much over the years, there is no where for these animals to go, so we see them in our streets and yards. Without opening up the hunting and increasing the tag #'s given to each hunter, the problem will persist. We should have the right to feed our families, as we have done for so many years.
Essie Jenkins December 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
And so have the human population - what about all these people who are having babies like rabbits....shoot them too? I'd say sure!
the owl December 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I do not know about all food pantries on the East End, but I can attest to the fact that in at least one on the East End, they cannot give venison away...the clients simply do not want it--even if it is the only meat available. Could be they don't know how to cook it or may not have a taste for it.....Those who do take it, often use it to feed their dogs or so I hear from many of the pantry volunteers. So, glad tohear that the "real" hunters (not those who use live animals for target practice with bows and arrows and usually can't shoot straight) are using the meat.
lutheranliar December 12, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Well. I am one of the few in my neighborhood who does not have a deer fence. Which means my lawn has been the deer cafeteria. Now that winter is approaching, everything is gone. If deer lovers are concerned about the cruelty of shooting, let them compare that to the cruelty of starvation. And no one who has a deer fence should be allowed to whine about the cruelty of hunting. Period.
Deborah Klughers December 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM
With the 'Bonus Deer Management Permits' currently given out for our area, a hunter can take unlimited 'antlerless' deer.
ViralGrain December 12, 2012 at 06:49 PM
The truth is the deer are eating better then ever thanks to gardens that have provided more food per acreage then woodland does typical. There are natural ways to keep the deer away from eating your plants that are cheaper then a fence but do require maintenance. Once the heard has learned not to eat from that area they generally eat somewhere else. Has any one found a deer lately that has died from malnutrition? If it was just someone's tomato plants were getting eaten I'm sure that this would not be an issue. The issue is to many people drive above the speed limit and are distracted drivers. They hit the deer and wreck their car and blame the deer instead of taking responsibility for the mishap. Know what roads to be careful on when driving and know that during hours of twilight the deer are more likely to be active. I bet that if you do the speed limit and and have a car that is able to break well your odds of hitting a deer are low if you pay attention. We need to learn to live in harmony with our changing environments or otherwise there will be no environment at all left for us to live.
Katherine December 12, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I totally agree. This is a travesty for both residents AND the deer. Deer are not supposed to be living in this heightened density. That alone is cruel to the deer and it ravages properties We are trying not to fence, but the deer own our yard. A sane plan is needed. We must listen to these plans and support action now.
Katherine December 12, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Let's revive great venison recipes! I made a venison ragu sauce over the Thanksgiving weekend and everyone raved about it. Maybe an East End cookbook. I grew up in Vermont where we hunted, and I worked for the Extension Service, where we taught folks to hunt safely and cook well. We must limit the deer population.
Cathy - Amagansett December 13, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I agree with you ViralGrain. I drive the speed limit and pay attention, more so on dark streets. I have NEVER hit a deer! As for the people not taking the venison at the food pantries, I am surprised. I would say they don't know the way to properly cook it. The meat is leaner than the meat you buy at the store and therefore cooks faster and if you are not careful will dry out quickly. Katherine - YUM! I wish I was at your house for Thanksgiving. For over 20 years I have cooked venison every chance I get. I learned from trial and error and have come up with some wonderful ways of preparing it.
Mauro Filicori December 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Yes. You can make a delicious ragu' with venison. Even if those large bag of ground meat do not look so inviting (meat has been butchered hours before and it's quite bloody), but if you marinate it for 24 hours it will make a great difference both flavor and look wise. I use two different kind of marinate, either with a quart of milk or with a bottle of wine, plus herbs and spices. The milk one makes the meat a nice pinkish color. I wish the local restaurants would prepare it more often. " Napegue Scallops" and "Gardiners Bay Venison" (TM)..... two local delicacies.
robert chambers July 29, 2013 at 08:59 AM
I hunt on county land in east hampton and I do very well, I would like to hunt Town land and Private land as well. If anyone has private land available to hunt for a retired 60 yr old guy please email. I'm very discrete and quiet. I will donate all the meat back to you all cut up and packaged. Rchamb1203@aol.com
Misca October 11, 2013 at 07:52 PM
How about those squirrels. I have lots of them on my property. I hear they make a delicious pie!
countrymaus December 10, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Does anyone buy their food from the amazing farm stands or eat local vegetables? It is incredibly challenging to grow enough food on the east end to feed ourselves and others without the deer taking our food. They eat anything!!


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