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Jan 18, 2014 7:20 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Protesters Gather In East Hampton Village To Oppose Deer Culling

Jan 21, 2014 12:37 PM

A parade of protesters took to the streets of East Hampton Village on Saturday afternoon to voice their opposition to a deer cull planned by several municipalities, including East Hampton Village, with the help of the Long Island Farm Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters.

East Hampton Village Police estimated that perhaps 200 people turned out, while anti-cull activists, like John Di Leonardo of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION), put the number at about 300.

In their quest to get the attention of government officials, the activists shook signs and repeated anti-USDA chants. From the Hook Mill green to Herrick Park on Newtown Lane, their signs—from “It is man’s fault” to “Birth control not guns” and “Kill kill kill is not the answer”—got mixed reactions from passersby.

One man stood watching the parade on Newtown Lane and responded against the protest. “Save the deer, kill the people!” he said.

Just a few feet away in front of Babette’s, the protesters were greeted with applause.

Once they had gathered at Herrick Park, Bill Crain, the president of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife, led the group in a series of chants. “You’re standing as protectors of life,” he said. “Hey, hey, ho, ho, these deer killers got to go.”

Wendy Chamberlain, an animal advocate and rally organizer, told the crowd that the plan to cull deer with USDA sharpshooters must be stopped. “The USDA should be called the Wildlife Extermination Service,” she said. “They’re a bad group of people. The fact that politicians have invited them … is inexcusable.”

Ms. Chamberlain announced that animal advocates from LION, the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island, and the East Hampton Group for Wildlife have hired an environmental firm from upstate, Young/Sommer LLC, to represent them in a lawsuit against any and all municipalities that sign on to the Farm Bureau’s cull program. She said the advocates are also suing the USDA, which would provide sharpshooters, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, whose approval the culling plan requires.

Mr. Crain and Ron Delsener have filed a separate lawsuit against the town and village of East Hampton, according to Mr. Di Leonardo.

“The cull is like 16th-century thinking, and this is the 21st century,” Ms. Chamberlain said after the protest, adding that the DEC is discussing a cull of mute swans, too. “These types of wildlife problems are only going to get worse unless we decide to manage our own population and not choose the most primitive form of wildlife management. It is criminally insane to do something like that. We have to rely on scientists, not on psychopaths.”

Brian Conway of Hunters for Deer said New York State and local municipalities are not using common sense. He said the deer have adapted in places where hunters are allowed to hunt, so the hunters have seen fewer deer each year. Mr. Conway said that hunters can be just as successful as USDA sharpshooters if given broader access to the animals.

Lisa Catalano, an advocate for animals from Nassau County, said the planned cull won’t help at all. “This is the biggest bunch of B.S.,” she said. “Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars?”

Ruth Vered of the Vered Art Gallery, who said she had been attacked by deer in the past, joined the crowd yelling, “Save the people!” and “F--- the deer!”

Emotional protesters immediately argued back.

“So we should kill opossum, raccoons, and then deer?” asked April Carone of Hampton Bays. “All carry ticks.”

After Ms. Vered was pulled away from protesters, Ms. Carone said she had come to defend wildlife. “We need to share all of God’s creatures,” she said. “This goes back to what we did to the Native Americans. We need to protest for those without a voice.”

On Friday, before the cull protest, Kathy Cunningham of the East Hampton Village Preservation Society had pleaded with East Hampton Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach Jr. at a Village Board meeting to consider immunocontraceptives or sterilization as a complementary solution to the overpopulation of deer.

Mr. Rickenbach said that he could see a multi-year culling program taking place in conjunction with a sterilization program, but that he’d like to coordinate that effort with East Hampton Town before taking that route. Because of the “epidemic of the overpopulation of deer,” the mayor said, he would like to see the culling program move ahead first.

“It makes me think how 70 years ago they rounded up people they considered unworthy to live and now we’re doing it to other sentient beings,” East Hampton resident Linda Creash said at the protest. “I just don’t understand why the town that considers itself progressive in so many ways can resort to a mass slaughtering of living beings. Find another way.”

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Every living thing is sacred
By Fellow H. Beer (7), Hampton Bays on Jan 18, 14 7:30 PM
no cull,We don't need these people in hear with high powered rifles
By They call me (2826), southampton on Jan 19, 14 1:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
What is this world coming to? Night vision goggles, silencers? Is this what a majority of the constituents want or are they trying to appease a small group of so called farmers? A good farmer plants extra to account for wildlife. Long Island is the laughing stock of New York State.
By landofgg (2), Sag Harbor on Jan 19, 14 4:49 AM
Are people just against killing the deer, or killing the deer with sharpshooters? Because if you live out here with the constant threat of Lyme disease, Babesiosis and other new flashy tick diseases, then you most likely understand that the deer population needs to be reduced.

While it's true that raccoons, mice, etc carry ticks, only deer carry them in the quantity that has allowed the tick population to absolutely explode in the last couple of decades. A single deer can carry 5k ticks ...more
By yearrounder12 (2), sag harbor on Jan 19, 14 7:37 AM
2 members liked this comment
I've had Lyme disease and babesiosis and it was no big deal. Just 28 days of antibiotics for Lyme and I didn't even need medication for babesiosis -- my immune system overcame it without the anti-malarial drugs. The way people go on about these diseases, honestly, you'd think they're life-threatening for the majority of the population. I've had sinus infections and stomach bugs that were much worse.
By btdt (449), water mill on Jan 19, 14 6:54 PM
That's wonderful for you, but this is not all about you. Some people suffer very serious symptoms and complications from these diseases, even death. My car has been struck twice by deer, causing thousands of dollars in damage, but I was able to maintain control and no people were injured. My personal anecdotes mean nothing to deny the fact that people are injured and killed by deer colliding with vehicles. Thin the herd!
By VOS (1241), WHB on Jan 19, 14 7:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
When the deer are gone ticks will find another host! Will you then want to wipe out the replacement host? Your cats and dogs maybe? At some point, people will become the choice host for the ticks. Yum yum.
By phins (43), East Hampton on Jan 20, 14 9:33 AM
Actually, the vast majority of people who contract Lyme disease and babesiosis recover fully. Even the ones who aren't treated. But you'd never guess by the hysteria surrounding these infections. You'd think they were Ebola.
"""Patients who take appropriate antibiotics early on in the disease are likely to make a full recovery, according to the Mayo Clinic. It may take longer to respond to treatment in later stages of Lyme disease, but, with appropriate treatment, most people recover completely."""""
By btdt (449), water mill on Jan 20, 14 9:59 PM
Babesiosis -- "Most infections with B. microti are asymptomatic. Many of the clinical features of babesiosis resemble malaria, including loss of appetite, fatigue, and a fever as high as 104ºF. Fever may be recurrent. Patients also report chills, sweats, muscle and joint pain, and nausea. The protozoa infect red blood cells and eventually cause their destruction, leading to anemia (lasting from several days to a few months), jaundice, a swollen liver, and an enlarged spleen. For most patients, ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Jan 20, 14 10:09 PM
No, there is no host for them like a deer.

Also, deer are very good at harboring the bacteria for Lyme, etc. For example a squirrel rarely transmits Lyme to a tick.

Also, even though ticks may find and bite raccoons and birds, they can't congregate there and mate on them like they do on deer. So targeting deer makes total sense if you are trying to reduce tick populations.
By yearrounder12 (2), sag harbor on Jan 21, 14 6:45 AM
The treatment of Lyme's is very standard (antibiotics). The cure is not the same as being without lingering effects. You are effectively cured after 28 days but the after effects can linger for years. I had Lyme's and was 'cured'. The effects I suffered - amnesia, extreme nerve sensitivity, rage, extreme sensitivity to heat, loss of appetite lasted 2 years!
By Hambone (514), New York on Jan 22, 14 1:22 PM
Not a very impressive turn out and probably more people from elsewhere than locals. Hopefully if these people sue, they loose and have to reimburse the villages for legal costs. Politically, its an organized vocal minority. The majority want the problem addressed. Venison should also be sold to support future birth control programs and also allow more sports hunting. The concerns about Lyme's and car accidents are very important and not doing anything about it might also result in negligence suits ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jan 19, 14 8:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
These county executives MUST be voted out of office next election.,They are clearly not fit to serve as witnessed by their abuse of power in their refusal to find nonlethal methods to control the deer population. I am appalled and shocked they would allow government assassins ( the USDA) into our village with OUR tax money in our name .Shame on all of the them . The Long Island Farm Bureau has also signed on with the USDA and was the promoter of this cruel massacre to begin with. The best advise ...more
By earthspirit (16), South Hampton on Jan 19, 14 9:12 AM
If you were actually from around here, you'd know there's no space between south, and hampton... First comment, used a space... Let alone you immediately politicized this on a county level...Methinks you not from these parts...V.Tomanoku is right!
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 9:44 AM
3 members liked this comment
By earthspirit (16), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 10:03 AM
LOL, typo. That doesn't pass muster for a typo! Thin the herd.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Jan 20, 14 3:25 AM
There is only one, single County Executive. And he is not mentioned in the story once.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 20, 14 6:29 PM
I have been trying to understand the opposition to the culling? Do they think the government is going to eradicate the deer entirely? The deer population on the east end has gotten out of control due to overdevelopment and limited hunting policies. There is no doubt that something must be done to prevent damage to people, and the inhumane starving of the deer whose population will eventually surpass its food supply. I have yet to hear any opposing view that is based on fact instead of personal ...more
By Corwin1879 (40), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 9:22 AM
The issue is not to cull or not it is should the USDA cull planned for Feb 2014 proceed. By their own admission culling less than 40% of the does will result in a temporary reduction of the deer population followed by a rebound effect accelerating the current population explosion. Better to do nothing than something so stupid. There are many ways to address this issue none of which are immediate final solutions. Why are we taking an action that we predict will aggravate the problem?
By Eastcreek (3), Cutchogue on Jan 19, 14 10:31 AM
2 members liked this comment
Under the radar screen and little-discussed, is the Compensatory Rebound Effect which posits that culls like this actually result in MORE deer a few years down the road, as the species reproduces in over-time to "catch up" with the perceived threat to its existence.

"Be Careful What You Wish For . . . " ?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 11:51 AM
2 members liked this comment
That only occurs if there is no management plan with no repeat increased hunting pressures. That is not what is being planned
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 19, 14 1:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
The politicians have not done the proper research to proceed with such a radical plan. East Hampton's Town Board contracted a count that showed 800 plus deer in town! Though that number may not be accurate, the information at hand does not seem to require a cull. They need to do the proper research before risking a cull that may bring the numbers down below sustainability of the herd.
By phins (43), East Hampton on Jan 20, 14 9:43 AM
There is no plan, so don't try to spin it. Joe Gergela of the LIFB wants to use NYS taxpayer dollars to kill deer because our politicians gave he the funds to do it. That money can be used for any General Agricultural purpose, but he choses to divide communities and take our resource. Farmers made a huge mistake on this one.
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 21, 14 7:42 PM
Deer are not responsible for Lyme Disease. There is NO correlation between deer population density and the incidence of the disease.

Deer/vehicle accidents peak in November with the opening of hunting season. Eliminating hunting would reduce the accident rate.

The deer are NOT starving.

Those who advocate slaughter base their arguments on fallacy.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 19, 14 12:16 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By yearrounder12 (2), sag harbor on Jan 19, 14 3:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
Highhatsize.... where are you getting your information regarding deer/vehicle accidents? Please check the FACTS before posting something you are obviously ignorant about. Deer/vehicle accidents have NOTHING to do with hunting season which starts Oct 1st and goes to Dec 31st for archery and weekdays in January for firearms. The reason there is a spike in accidents in November is due to the deer rut, or mating season, which takes place then. At this time the bucks have one thing on their mind ...more
By HamptonsBornandRaised (1), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 10:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Deer are not responsible for Lyme Disease. There is NO correlation between deer population density and the incidence of the disease."

Really, this nonsense again?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jan 19, 14 10:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wrongful death and destruction of our deer soon to be underway...funded with our tax dollars. Let's hope the politicians will not ignore petitions with more than 10,000 citizen signatures and hundreds of phone calls all calling for change to spare our deer unnecessary suffering and death. The deer will be the first "to go"...who will be next?

We believe change is possible, there is no time like the present to turn this tragic deadly management of our deer around.

Deer are sacred ...more
By Onward&Upward (2), Montauk on Jan 19, 14 1:02 PM
Please spare us! All the deer native to LI were kill off, these deer were reintroduced, so not necessarily native. I'm more concerned. With the wrongful death and destruction of my flowers, vegetables and damage to my vehicles. I've hit two of these scared morons ,one on Scuttlehole and the other right on MTK Hwy by Georgica pond. They bite some plants and don't like the taste, so they leave a trail of their cast offs.
And what is all this nonsense of merciless killing? They aren't going to ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Jan 20, 14 3:41 AM
Sure, lets destroy the deer because these living creatures were not authorized by the government and concerned citizens such as yourself to live. Of course it's easier to support the mass killing of wildlife rather than to put up a fence around your property and drive carefully. It's hard to fathom how compassionless some people can be. All residents have a moral and ethical obligation to help not harm our wildlife. Kind and ethical conscience is in order...and must be acted upon without delay. ...more
By Onward&Upward (2), Montauk on Jan 20, 14 10:08 PM
There are people in my life who I love that have contracted diseases from ticks which feed on and are transported by deer. Most of my friends and family have contracted Lyme's. Some fair better than others but it has affected them all in negative ways. My mother contracted Babesiosis some time ago and it took a heavy toll on her. In fact, she never did fully recover. Last summer I got Ehrlichiosis....I’m Ok now but it was bad. We all have these stories and we need to be thinking of tick borne ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 6:47 PM
3 members liked this comment
I'd like to cull the giant buildings that are going up on "agricultural reserve" land. In 20 years I never had deer on my property until a certain celebrity decided that "agricultural reserve" = rip out trees, bushes, brush, fields and replaced with densely packed buildings. And the town agreed. Now the deer that used to roam the agricultural reserve are on the roadways and in yards they'd never been in before. Nice going. First mt tax dollars went to purchase the "development rights to agricultural ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Jan 19, 14 7:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
If you are referring to Lauerville, the Planning Board is due to rule on the application for more housing units. Have they already ruled?

Those monstrous stable buildings, as one drives north on Deerfield near Edge of Woods, remind me of an industrial complex from up-island. Sad.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 19, 14 10:53 PM
to yearrounder12:

The anecdotal report to which you refer involved extirpation, not reduction. Where deer ARE present, an increase or decrease in their numbers does not correlate with an increase or decrease in Lyme Disease. However, such a correlation DOES exist INVERSELY with the population of foxes, strongly suggesting that it is the rodent population rather than the deer population that is responsible for spreading Lyme Disease to people. Studies have found that four small mammals, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 20, 14 2:15 AM
Sounds like a tragic accident waiting to happen
Jan 21, 14 5:56 PM appended by They call me
"I'm from the government and I was sent hear to help"
By They call me (2826), southampton on Jan 21, 14 5:56 PM
HHS, deer carry and spread more ticks than an other animal. Those ticks feed, drop off and lay eggs which turn into nymphs. Of course those nymphs end up on mice, also prevalent on the east end, which are the carrier of the disease but the reason there are so many ticks is because of deer. Deer are also more responsible for the spread of the disease. Mice do not travel more than 300 feet from their nests. How is it then that the disease has such a large geographical presence. The answer is ...more
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jan 21, 14 6:18 PM
to dnice:

It is YOU who are (determinedly) uninformed, dnice. You repeat the common sense reasoning which argues that deer MUST be the cause of the Lyme Disease epidemic and ignore the FACT of studies that show no correlation between deer population density and Lyme Disease incidence.

There are many common sense reasons that "I" could propose as to why deer have NOT caused the epidemic but my argument thereto would be as ignorant as yours. No doubt the REASON will be uncovered ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 21, 14 11:20 PM
From US National Lab of Medicine (Pleas keep in mind the South Fork is essentially an island from the Canal to Montauk):

Another deer-targeted intervention aims to reduce deer populations through a controlled deer hunt. Two studies showed that complete, or near complete, elimination of deer was effective in reducing tick populations on an inhabited peninsula and islands off the northeastern U.S. coast. However, it is unclear whether deer-reduction strategies will translate to mainland settings ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 23, 14 10:53 AM
***Thomas Mather is a professor of public health entomology at the University of Rhode Island. He directs the TickEncounter Resource Center, a leading source on tick-bite protection and disease prevention.***

Ticks definitely are a bigger problem than 25 years ago. In the northeastern U.S., black-legged (deer) ticks have spread well beyond former coastal haunts; in the southeast, Lone Star ticks are seemingly everywhere. The only good news is that dog ticks are far less common in domestic ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 23, 14 11:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
***William L. Krinsky is an entomologist at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale.***

Wherever small and intermediate-sized rodents like white-footed mice and gray squirrels thrive, ixodid ticks seem to be abundant. But it has also been apparent for many years that deer, as large sources of blood, are important for all stages of the tick, and white-tailed deer are an essential part of the equation for the population of black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, to reach levels enabling ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 23, 14 11:05 AM
Ruth Vered was attacked by a deer?! Really??? Someone tell me the story, please! I know those deer can be vicious creatures...
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Jan 20, 14 8:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
maybe the deer thought those giant hideous legs on the side of her house were antlers
By Erin 27 E (1281), southampton on Jan 20, 14 2:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have put up posted signs on my property and suggest all opponents do same. this is inhumane. a very sad commentary on us humans
By littlebrownlady (1), east hampton on Jan 20, 14 12:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
Is the only answer to kill, kill, kill? Kill the feral cats, kill the geese, kill the deer.
We need to coexist with animals-- not destroy them. Killing is a lazy approach to solving any problem. Sharp shooters will humanely kill deer by shooting bullet in head? I'm sorry!!! What is humane about instant death? Donating the food to food banks sounds like BS to me!!! Just an excuse to make a wrong look like A right. Gee--Who is going to process meat for food banks? Does the food bank have proper ...more
By DarleneDiStefano (1), Central Islip, New York on Jan 20, 14 1:53 PM
2 members liked this comment
Now they want to kill the swans, too! What is this place coming to?!
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Jan 23, 14 12:54 PM
If you want someone to blame for the need for the cull I suggest you send a letter to Assemblyman Bob Sweeney. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Conservation. The committee that has held up bills that would help manage the deer herd without the use of the USDA. He has received the following recommendations from DEC biologists to help manage the deer herd:
- Reduce set backs to 150' to increase areas open to hunting
- Reduce the minimum age to encourage youth participation
- ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Jan 20, 14 2:38 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Jan 20, 14 6:08 PM
BEFORE you BUY ask WHY the LONG ISLAND FARM BUREAU is promoting the largest deer slaughter in NY history. BUY HUMANE ONLY..........
By earthspirit (16), Southampton on Jan 21, 14 8:39 AM
We don't want the government here with the same high powered rifles they are trying to confiscate from US citizens. We can take care of our own problems


By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Jan 21, 14 4:48 PM
You're a true patriot!
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 21, 14 7:44 PM
Yes Sir
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Jan 21, 14 8:41 PM
Farmer friendly now farmer DEADLY. Be an ethical consumer DON'T BUY from the LONG ISLAND FARM BUREAU and their members.STOP their gruesome plan to massacre LONG ISLANDS DEER.BUY HUMANE ONLY .
By earthspirit (16), Southampton on Jan 22, 14 6:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
Is anyone at the town listening to us I wonder, seems to me they may have sold out
By Erin 27 E (1281), southampton on Jan 22, 14 1:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
squirrles=rats with fuzzy tails, deer = RATS WITH LONG LEGS. Must cull the deer out here to prevent the accidents that are caused by the deer. serve no useful purpose for our envionment and notihng to our farmers but loss of crops and loss of income. simple my dear tree huggers etc. no food no farm stands-let the people (DEER) go!!
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Jan 23, 14 8:12 PM