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Aug 12, 2014 5:43 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Weekend Deer Hunting Will Be Permitted In Suffolk County Come January

Aug 12, 2014 5:43 PM

Hunting will be permitted on Saturdays and Sundays in Suffolk County starting in January, thanks to new legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, according to a press release from State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

The law will permit the use of long bows during this season; shotguns and muzzle-loading firearms are already permitted in the January season. The new regulations will take effect this coming January and also waive the requirement for a town permit for hunting in January. Hunters will still need a state permit, however.

Proposed by Mr. Thiele and State Senator Ken LaValle, the new bill is part of a three-bill package to help with deer management at the recommendation of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The first part of the three-fold legislation was passed in April. It reduces the setback for long-bow hunting from 500 feet to 150 feet, thus opening up the number of spaces for hunting.

“The legislation came about two years ago,” Mr. Thiele said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “The local towns, the five town supervisors and the village mayors on the East End asked the DEC what could be done to help with the deer problem. They pointed to these recommendations, and I put a bill in last year.”

Mr. Thiele said there was no opposition from people in the community, despite the new law allowing for additional lethal control.

“I think obviously if it were the weekends in summer and fall, people would be opposed,” he said, explaining that when the Long Island Farm Bureau proposed the deer cull, many people—both hunters and those opposed to lethal control—were extremely opposed. “I think because they were both opposed, that’s how the support for these bills was generated. By the time these bills came up this year, there wasn’t any opposition.”

The third bill proposes the inclusion of non-lethal fertility control as part of the State Management Plan in addition to lethal methods. It was passed by the legislature but needs the signature of the governor in order to be enacted, said Mr. Thiele.

“What I want to do is make sure that the DEC, whatever they’re doing, looks at non-lethal methods as well as lethal,” he said.

The East Hampton Village Preservation Society is also working on its “Spay-A-Doe” initiative to help control the deer population in the village. The organization is working with White Buffalo Inc. to launch the program, which consists of performing a surgical procedure to remove a doe’s ovaries. Dr. Anthony DeNicola, founder of White Buffalo Inc., said the does will be shot with a dart gun, tranquilized and taken to a makeshift operating room nearby by pickup truck, then released after the surgery.

The village preservation society has pledged to raise $100,000 in addition to $30,000 allocated by the village for the program . The organization will hold an information session with White Buffalo about the initiative on Thursday, August 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street, which Mr. Thiele said he plans to attend.

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Mr. Thiele is wrong. There is public opposition to weekend and bow hunting of deer in East Hampton. The East Hampton Group for Wildlilfe has repeatedly testified at town meetings, written letters, and spoken to news media to point out that bow hunting is the cruelest form of hunting because it so often only wounds deer, leaving them to die slow, painful deaths. Moreover, no one has provided any scientific evidence documenting the need to expand any hunting. Existing surveys indicate that ...more
By billcrain (2), Montauk on Aug 13, 14 12:57 PM