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Aug 2, 2016 12:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Deer Sterilization In East Hampton Village Is Stalled

East Hampton Village has been carrying out a controversial deer sterilization program.
Aug 2, 2016 4:14 PM

East Hampton Village’s deer sterilization program is currently stalled. The program began two years ago to try to stabilize the deer population in the village, but was met with protest from some who said it was inhumane.

According to Anthony DeNicola, president of White Buffalo Inc., the company hired to carry out the deer sterilization program, there is no contract between White Buffalo Inc. and East Hampton Village to perform any more sterilizations for the rest of the year.

“We want to do work in the fall, but right now we don’t have a contract in place for this year,” Mr. DeNicola said. “I’m not sure what the village has voted on or planned for this year. We’re just waiting for the village to decide if they’re going to support a third year for the program.”

East Hampton Village Administrator Becky Molinaro, who’s been coordinating the sterilization plan with White Buffalo, confirmed that there is no contract in place nor do they have a license from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to further conduct sterilization.

“We’re currently in discussion with White Buffalo and other groups to explore other deer management programs in continuation with the sterilization plan,” Ms. Molinaro said. “The Village Board has been approached by other groups to pursue other programs like immunocontraception, but the board hasn’t decided yet.”

White Buffalo Inc., a Connecticut-based nonprofit natural management company, was selected to carry out the sterilization plan back in September 2014 and has done two phases of their five-year plan. The first phase was in the fall of 2014 and the second occurred in the winter of 2015, wrapping up in November. Since the completion of the second phase, Mr. DeNicola said that half of the male and female deer population of East Hampton Village has been tagged and sterilized.

“You mostly want 90 percent of the female deer sterilized in order to have any real effect on the population,” he said. “Last fall, we treated about 160 deer and 60 percent of the deer in the village are female. That’s about 300 deer.”

According to Ms. Molinaro, the issue of the large deer population came up through resident complaints in the area.

“We hear a lot about people getting into car accidents involving deer and deer tick-based illnesses.”

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife filed a lawsuit against East Hampton Village last November claiming that the sterilizations were performed in unsanitary conditions. Ms. Molinaro said that the lawsuit was dismissed for not being “timely filed.”

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I'm not necessarily against sterilization, but it does seem a little dangerous to implement these actions without a system in place to reliably measure population vital rates and track trends in population size. Beyond the initial baseline survey conducted in 2013, has EH done any type of monitoring to understand the impacts of the sterilization program on the deer population?
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Aug 2, 16 1:28 PM
East Hampton Village needs a deer management program that includes utilizing vetted, insured and proficient bowhunters on properties, where the owners would allow access to hunters, during the hunting season. Community based hunting programs have proven to be successful and 100% safe in Remsenburg, Eatons Neck, Lloyd Harbor and Quogue. Anyone interested in supporting a hunting program on their property, please contact me to discuss our Hunters For Deer Need-A-Hunter program.
By Michael Tessitore (76), East Quogue, New York on Aug 2, 16 2:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
This idea of bow hunting as a solution is untenable. We have found deer carcasses with arrows in them. The animal was left to suffer and die after crashing through a few fences over a span of several properties. Not to mention the lack of adequate setbacks in the village from property to property. This is not the Adirondacks, or a deer park in Montana.
By AL (83), southampton on Aug 3, 16 10:22 PM
In its lawsuit against the Village's sterilization program,The East Hampton Group for Wildlife charged that the program was reckless. The lawsuit was judged moot largely because the Village said it didn't have further plans to continue the program, at least at that time.
There are ways of coping with the problems people find with deer. Methods of tick control, such as 4-Poster, are promising. Slower driving would greatly reduce auto/deer collisions. More--and more impartial study--is ...more
By billcrain (2), Montauk on Aug 2, 17 7:49 PM