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Deer Overpopulation Prompts DEC to Expand Hunting Grounds in Hamptons

The special firearms season in Suffolk County will open on Jan. 7 and will run through the end of the month.

With deer populations continuing to increase across Suffolk County, including the East End of Long Island, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that it will open a special shotgun season for deer hunting with more areas open to sportsmen.

The DEC expanded the 15-year-old boundries on the South Shore, where hunting was previously restricted, including in areas in East Hampton and Southampton. Hunters, however, still have to refer to local town ordinances.

The season, which allows for deer to be taken with muzzleloaders or shotguns loaded with a single slug, will officially open on Jan. 7 and run through Jan. 31. Hunting will not be permitted on weekends.

"Overpopulations of deer have the ability to negatively impact natural habitats along with agricultural, public and private properties, and public health in the forms of automobile/deer collisions and tick-borne diseases," a DEC statement reads. "Hunting is DEC’s most effective and efficient known tool to maintain wildlife populations at levels that are compatible with communities and natural resources."

In May 2012, Chip Hamilton, a wildlife biologist with the DEC, reported that the DEC does not have exact numbers on deer populations in the Hamptons because it is a "tough number to quantify."

Hamilton said there are more deer on the East End of Long Island because of the available habitat, but more frequently deer are showing up in western Long Island, which indicates that the herds are enlarging.

East Hampton Village, he said, is also embarking on a project to quantify local deer herds using infrared cameras.

He also indicated that the DEC keeps a close eye on the number of deer harvested each season through its tagging and nuisance programs. Tags/permits must be obtained by anyone looking to hunt deer on the East End.

In 2011 — 2012 numbers are not yet available — 546 deer were harvested in East Hampton, 462 in Riverhead, 142 on Shelter Island, 641 in Southampton and 382 in Southold.

To ensure that all shotgun rules are followed, the DEC said it will ramp up patrols at shotgun sites throughout the month. Rules and regulations can be found on the DEC's website here.

James Christensen January 03, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Notice that the Southampton patch uses a picture of Bambi along with the Story headline. Why not put a picture of Thumper standing next to Bambi, while they're at it? The writer and the editorial staff probably think most people do not know that the whole Patch community is a subsidiary of The Huffington Post. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it !
Hazel Wilkonson the First January 03, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Oh, shut up
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Patch is owned by AOL. Huffington Post is also owned by AOL. Patch is not a subsidiary of Huffington Post and was began before AOL acquired Huffington Post.
Jerry Can January 03, 2013 at 09:15 PM
I do hope they have a successful season as the roads have become too dangerous recently with deer's crossing. Its also a cruel way for them to die on the side of a road. Most people don't carry guns in order to administer a lethal shot so the poor animals just lie there suffering. Certainly, as a community if we can pay to have our electric lines buried for esthetic reasons, then we must surely be willing to finance a humane population control program. It beats having to drive by those poor animals on the side of the road.
STB January 03, 2013 at 09:49 PM
was began ?
Bbambi January 03, 2013 at 10:16 PM
For anyone in an accident with a deer or seeing an injured deer, please call the Evelyn Anderson Wildlife Rescue center at 631.728.9453 (WILD). Their amazing staff and volunteers will do their best to help and the police are very helpful as well. They only ask that you stay with the animal until someone arrives so they can locate it There is no reason to drive by a suffering animal.
MARTIN DREW January 03, 2013 at 11:24 PM
I'm certain Bill Crain is beside himself ... What protest will he mastermind ? Another hunger strike ... IM SURE hungry people will benefit . DEC to be thanked for common sense decision in this problem . Time to break out the Bonac recipe book . Corn and applesauce for me ..
Peconic Sunset January 03, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Slow down drivers, the deer will be erratic as the hunters run them ragged.
Preliator January 03, 2013 at 11:54 PM
The only thing the Crain's hunger for is more media attention.
27 EAST January 04, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Who says the deer are over populated? I thought last year they erradicated most of the deer in Hampton Bays. Why cant we coexist with their territory?
Lyme Lives Here January 04, 2013 at 03:11 PM
I am not big on the hunting thing but until we are willing to implement the 4 poster system to control the deer as tick borne disease vector, something has to be done. If you want the 'save the deer', then get involved with getting the 4 poster 'frontlining' of deer implemented here in the Hamptons (there was a 95% reduction of the tick population over a five year period on Shelter Island and at Robert Moses State Park). You can start by helping the North Haven residents-Laura M. Nolan (the mayor) has made the citizen's requests seem frivolous by saying that there is 'lyme hysteria' out here.....
Gail Simons January 04, 2013 at 08:49 PM
People over-population and hideous deer fences are more to blame for deer related accidents. We watched one poor family of deer frantically try to get away from the traffic & road unsuccessfully due to the fencing that was keeping them IN the road. People are idiots.
Gail Simons January 04, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Yeah, what Hazel said!
Deborah Klughers January 05, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Deer are not the ‘tick borne disease vector’, ticks are. Ticks carry & transmit the pathogens that cause diseases. Ticks get the pathogens from rodents. Rodents are the animals that are infected by the pathogens that cause disease. Rodents are also considered the reservoir of disease; they sustain the pathogen & are the source of infection. Deer are a major host for ticks and are very important to tick reproduction, but they do not infect ticks with pathogens. In addition to deer, birds are important tick hosts. Rodents, wild & domestic animals, & humans are also tick hosts. Fewer deer may mean fewer ticks, but some studies show that deer densities must be reduced to very low levels,as low as 8 deer per square mile or less to be ‘effective’! A 2006 study showed there were between 2400 & 4400 deer in the 70 or so square miles of East Hampton Town. So, a target level of 560 deer MAY be ‘effective’ in tick reduction. ( I emphasize MAY because it is not clear if a ‘cull’ would reduce ticks!) While four-posters are OK, they typically use permethrin which is classified by the EPA as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” . Permethrin is highly toxic to honeybees, fish & other aquatic organisms. There are other issues with four-posters as well. Integrated pest management using a variety of methods to reduce the diseases transmitted by ticks may be a good alternative to sole reliance on a deer cull or the use of chemical agents to kill ticks.
Vicki January 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
when I look out my window and see a deer dragging a leg with an arrow hanging out of it, or when I jog the beach and see a deer carcass with the antlers cut off and the body rotting I'm thinking idiots. I have a friend who hunts and it sounds a lot different from what I see happening around here!
highhatsize January 05, 2013 at 06:20 PM
I can't get inside the head of someone so lacking in empathy that they would inflict pain, suffering and terror on another creature that has all the emotions that they do themselves. Bow hunters are particularly appalling since their ineffective killing prolongs the agony of their victims. The fact that bow hunting is not outlawed under humane animal protection statutes is a disgrace. I don't want these killers to be attracted to my neighborhood. I prefer overpopulation and Lyme Disease to the alternative of enabling psychopathic behavior.
Bonac Refugee January 05, 2013 at 09:30 PM
So I take it you're a vegan there High Hat?????
highhatsize January 05, 2013 at 11:48 PM
to Bonac Refugee: Vegetarian, not Vegan.
Bonac Refugee January 06, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Thats too bad High Hat.I was going to invite you on a hunt so you could see what it's all about.There is nothing like a fresh deer heart fried up with onions and mushroom after a succesful hunt.Ah well enjoy your salad and tofu.
robert chambers August 07, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Highhat you are not talking from experience. A Good bowhunter can kill a deer just as fast as a bullet can.
John F August 09, 2013 at 01:27 PM
I have found numerous articles about the deer nuisance on the east end of long Island including East Hampton. I am a professional and licensed bow hunter with over 25 years of experience on the east end of Long Island. I have several associates who have similar credentials. I am trying to go through the appropriate channels to assist property owners in controlling their deer nuisance problems. Together we have helped numerous property owners greatly reduce their deer nuisance problem. We treat the property as if it were our own and leave it the way we found it. We are very responsible and ethical. I would like to discuss this further to assist property owners. The email is jforsyt1@verizon.net Thanks, John Forsyth

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