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Oct 21, 2009 1:27 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village continues to think about deer control

Oct 21, 2009 1:27 PM

Deer run rampant and proliferate rapidly in areas like Southampton Village partly because hunting is prohibited in the municipality, wildlife biologist Mike Clark from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation told the Southampton Village Board on Tuesday.

Mayor Mark Epley, who is proposing to revamp village law to allow limited archery hunting as a way of deer control, brought Mr. Clark in to explain different methods of culling the animals. Mr. Epley first introduced changing the law earlier this month.

Village law currently prohibits discharging a weapon, both bows and guns, anywhere within 500 feet of a building or roadway. Mr. Epley has said he would like to change that law so that property owners and their neighbors can obtain nuisance permits from the DEC and use bow and arrow to hunt deer.

Mr. Clark explained that nuisance permits are one method the DEC offers to the public to allow it to diminish the deer population. But general hunting could be possible in Southampton Village, as well. The rules for general hunting, like those for nuisance permits, prohibit firing a weapon within 500 feet of a building unless permission from the owner is obtained, Mr. Clark said. But he explained actual signatures from neighboring property owners are required for nuisance permits. Only a spoken agreement is required for general hunting, he said.

Village officials were hesitant to embrace allowing general hunting in the municipality, citing safety as a main priority. “We’re still thinking about it,” Mr. Epley said. “We’re information gathering at this point in time.” Village Trustee Nancy McGann said that she would like to see a notification system in place if hunting were ever allowed, and added she would also like to see hunting limited to certain days of the week.

Some audience members, however, were enthusiastic about a deer population control program.

Village resident Heide Loefken said that she has been plagued with deer on her property for years. While Mr. Clark was discussing the possibility of trapping and then humanely euthanizing deer, she asked if she could dig a hole, and encourage the animals to fall into it, “like a grave.”

“I’ve thought about this deeply,” Ms. Loefken said.

Planning Data Software

The village is considering setting up an extensive data program for its building, planning and architectural review departments, as well as for the tax receiver’s office, that would be available for public use. Village administrator Stephen Funsch explained that $190,000 of the $330,000 cost would be paid for with a five-year bond. Debt service on the bond will total about $40,000 per year, he said. The $190,000 pays for hardware and software.

General Code, a company in Rochester, would install the software and scan the documents, Mr. Funsch explained.

Scanning all the documents in the departments costs about $140,000, which will come out of the village’s operating budget. The village is considering whether to break up the scanning over a period of three years, or complete 60 percent of the scanning this year, and 40 percent next year. The latter method is more efficient, Mr. Funsch said, and makes the program more marketable to those who will use it.

Village Trustee Paul Robinson recommended increasing fees in the building department to cover the up-front costs of the computer program. “It’s just an idea,” Mr. Epley said of Mr. Robinson’s suggestion. “It’s probably something we will do.”

Mr. Epley explained that the program will most likely be used the most by lawyers, developers, and real estate brokers who need extensive information on properties. The village has yet to decide how much it will charge those professionals to use the system.

Also, the village will hold a public hearing on November 8 on the village’s contract with Cablevision and the franchise fee. The village is considering raising the fee from 3 to 4 percent.

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Digging a hole and letting deer fall into it? Are you kidding? Look - there are all these deer b/c their habitat has been eroded by over development (too many humans). The deer are not happy about it, either (well maybe some are). Fence in the shrubs that you don't want them to eat. Let them eat some stuff, what the heck. Drive slowly like you expect them to pop out into the roadway. Check yourself for ticks daily. Learn to live with nature, or move to the city or up the island. BTW, killing ...more
By darwin (47), southampton on Oct 22, 09 12:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Allowing hunting in populated areas is insanity.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Oct 22, 09 1:05 PM
Allowing deer to continue their unchecked growth in a populated area is the real insanity.

C'mon, DD, instead of wringing your hands about this every week, come up with a viable -- note, V-I-A-B-L-E! -- solution.

BTW, Ms. Darwin's factoid about "killing the deer will only work if you kill ALL the deer," is not even remotely accurate.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 22, 09 3:22 PM
It is insanity.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 09 12:16 PM
The annual deer slaughter by automobile has already begun. WHat is better humanly harvesting and thinning the herd or possible injurey when you crash nto one? The deer are everywhere on the East End and need to be managed. Deer hunting is a way to do that and is better for the herds and the humans. Some balance needs to be found in the more urban areas. Perhaps the taxapayers will pay more for a police officer to be trained to do it. So then they can dial 3337 (Deer)for removal. Or just build a ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 27, 09 6:59 AM
Just what we need - inexperienced people shooting bow and arrows! At least Southampton Hospital will get out of the red from all the accidents about to happen.
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Oct 27, 09 11:59 AM