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Opponents Will Protest East Hampton's Planned Sharpshooter Deer Cull Program

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife will hold a "No Cull" rally and demonstration, starting at the Hook Mill, on Jan. 18 at 1 p.m.

A deer in Springs Credit: Romaine Gordon
A deer in Springs Credit: Romaine Gordon

An East Hampton group opposing the sharpshooter deer cull program will take to the streets in protest later this month.

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife, which already filed suit against the town, village, and town trustees, has organized a "No Cull" rally and demonstration on Jan. 18.

"We want to express, in a visible way, the depth of opposition to the deer cull," said Bill Craine, a Montauk resident and the founder for the East Hampton Group for Wildlife. "Every day I receive emails from East Hampton residents who say they are 'appalled' and 'sickened' by the plan to use sharpshooters to kill hundreds of deer. They ask, 'How can I help stop this?'"

The Long Island Farm Bureau secured $200,000 in grant funding to embark upon the United State Department of Agriculture's sharpshooter program to reduce the number of deer on the East End and in the Town of Brookhaven. The goal is to eliminate 2,000 to 3,000 deer in one of the largest government deer removals ever undertaken.

The program was estimated to cost about $500,000, with towns and villages agreeing to participate and provide additional funding. Riverhead Town is the only town so far to opt out of the program, though the Town of Southampton is still undecided.

Craine said there has there has been much enthusiasm for the demonstration so far.

"Public officials have talked about a 'deer emergency' and 'epidemic,' but the available data suggest that the East Hampton deer population may well be declining," he said, pointing to a ground survey his group commissioned in 2006 that estimated there were 3,293 deer. The town-commissioned aerial survey counted 877.

"Despite different methodologies, the surveys point to population reduction. It’s possible that a cull could devastate the deer population in our town," Craine said.

Those who want to speak out against the deer cull planned in East Hampton will gather at the Hook Mill in the village on Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. and march in single file along the sidewalks to Herrick Park, where they will stand for 20 to 30 minutes facing Newtown Lane.

Craine knew of no other rallies planned on the East End, as he said he has only heard from one resident outside of East Hampton.

Do you plan on attending the rally and demonstration? Tell us in the comments below.

Chloe 1 January 07, 2014 at 07:56 PM
Cause I thought rifles were illegal to use on Long Island cause a bullet can travel so far.
Conservative Underground January 08, 2014 at 06:41 AM
Ah yes, they know nothing about what they are protesting so let ignorance be their shield. Talk about another herd that needs to thinned out a bit.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. January 08, 2014 at 06:59 AM
So anyone for an anti DWI rally? After all a women was just murdered by a drunk on the 5th in Hampton Bays. Well?………….Bunch of hypocrites...
the owl January 08, 2014 at 01:04 PM
The rapacious FARRELL construction company will soon make sure that there is no natural habitat left for any wild creature, and no house that any of the locals can afford. THAT is called progress.
Jimmy King January 10, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Yes an Anti DWI rally is a GREAT Idea. Since taking away their right to drive and putting them in prison isn't working, maybe a couple of yahoos walking around with signs will do the trick. Next time I'm in a bar and the bartender asks me if I'd like another, I'm gonna say "Are you kidding me? Didn't you see those people with signs walking up and down the street."

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