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Readers Mixed on Using Sharpshooters to Thin East End Deer Herd

Most were in agreement that deer posed a significant concern on the East End.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
A contentious plan suggested in Southold to cull the East End deer herd by using sharpshooters met with resistance this week by a group of 2,500 who signed a petition in protest. Patch readers had a lot to say about it. 

The following is a round-up of comments from our East End Patch readers who spoke out on the deer problem, which is one of the biggest issues facing East End residents. While reviews were mixed, most were in agreement that deer posed a significant concern on the East End, but residents were in heated opposition on how to solve the escalating problem.

Feel free to keep the conversation going by adding your thoughts in the comment section below. 

nonbastaThe deer have to be brought under control as soon as possible at an affordable cost. The sharpshooter program is the best solution. Deer are animals and humans have a responsibility to protect HUMAN life.

robert chambersLet hunters hunt them in the yards, Open the season for jan and feb with bowhunters.

RGBPIThe last time I gazed into the eyes of a deer was when it went straight through my windshield. There is deer poop all over the yard. They demolished the garden and my wife got lyme disease. I've been bit numerous times by the ticks as well. The deer are cute.! But our lives are more precious I would think.

KDimaj0Maybe its just me that takes what someone from the city has to say about the deer population with a grain of salt. Having actually lived on the North Fork for the entirety of my life, I am 100% for this sharpshooter program. To date, I have hit four deer over the past six years driving home from work on the North Rd at night. I have also bore witness to many other motorists hit deer at no fault of their own. Something absolutely has to be done, and quite frankly, its questionable how it has taken this long to get a program together.

eugene frohnhoefer
If the deer are such a problem, get your farmer neighbors and friends, with property, to allow hunters on their property You could also petition the DEC to allow the taking of more deer per hunter and also spend more money to butchers so that the HUNTERS FEEDING THE HUNGRY program would expand. A deer lives, maybe, one minute after it is shot by a ethical hunter who only shoots when he has a sure kill shot. The sterilization and euthanasia programs will lead to the extinction of these beautiful animals. That program is also VERY time consuming and expensive.

Benja SchwartzNature is a beneficial resource for, not an enemy of, humans. Hunting and sharpshooting are not solutions. First we need to understand the problem. Supervisor Russell jokes about counting the deer as they are butchered. He is on record as saying he would like to kill all deer.

ed finnegan It is time to (drastically and quickly) thin the herd...the problem does not need further understanding the problem needs to be (drastically and quickly) thinned....if a group of individuals was inflicting the same damage to residents of Southold as the deer do, the police would have long ago turned their attention from arresting DUIs to eliminating marauding deer...action ....it is time to do something, to do everything necessary to erase this severe and growing worse problem!

Stan Uproar lllDaddyO I love them little deer but don't want to hit them with my bicycle so I'm all for killing them off

Ray Cote
Eugene has the right idea. As an ethical hunter, I would be very open to receiving requests from landowners and farmers who are having a deer problem, asking me and those I hunt with to come and legally hunt the deer. We enjoy the venison ourselves and would willing share with anyone else who has needs or simply also likes venison but chooses not to harvest deer themselves. DEC could consult and determine the proper number of animals to harvest. I would even be willing to pay for the opportunity to be allowed to hunt on land where there is a deer nuisance issue. Why in the world would someone want to SPEND $500,000 when there are those of us willing to PAY money for such an opportunity to help this problem??

mike edelson: L
eave the deer ALONE! The Animal Welfare League should picket the homes of any politicos who support this immoral harmful travesty against god's innocent creatures.

Diane
What about extending hunting to people that will hunt for FOOD and not just for the kill!

Sally Mangas December 09, 2013 at 10:28 AMIf we hadn't destroyed all there habitat by tearing down all the trees & woodlands where they lived we wouldn't really see a problem. Now they are forced into our neighborhoods and we say we there are too many! What a crock of S---.

Simone ShamsWere are destroying their habitat and that is why they are venturing into neighborhoods. Can we stop building please? We are starting to look like Central Suffolk County. Put the money to good use like preserving wildlife habitats. Does anyone remember why people ventured to the east end in the first place?

jks
The deer population has exploded, I see 5 or 6 deer in my back yard every day, and we live next to hundreds acres of woodlands. We can't grow vegetables or flowers, they destroy any and all vegetation in their path, not to mention Lyme disease. If they could be stopped humanely I would be all for it, but something HAS to be done ASAP.

John Pine:
Their homes were destroyed by developers, now we are angry they are on lawns where there were once woods. What a crock, this madness needs to stop and we need to live in HARMONY with nature!

Linda Hagen
Just pick up Time Mag. from last week...Deer are not the only problem in this county, but on the Local Level...We have a major problem and it needs to be addressed. Yes they are all CUTE, but so are our children, friends, spouses. But do I want my husband or children to contact that allergy, NO, my brother in law has it and that is enough for our family. We need a law to put down these wonderful animals in a proper & humane fashion...You just can't keep putting it off!

Carol Combes
We both say mix a birth control product with a corn product and feed the deer. For the hunter legalize baiting.

geo
ok deer lovers -i hope you wreck your car as i have -contract lyme disease and have iv treatments-lose all your plantings-better yet take one of these rats with antlers thru the windshield as some have and died from the lovely deer- they need to be thined out PERIOD.

pillpoppinpuppyThese are probably the same people who want the government to provide lyme disease vaccinations to residents and illegal aliens.

Faustina
How many of these Bambi-pimps signed petitions to stop the "inhumane slaughter" of children and civilians wasted in America's unnecessary wars. This outpouring of disgusting. Animal fundamentalism should be ignored. Cull the deer population by whatever means is expedient.

rita
There was never a deer problem until the big ugly houses started getting built out here. It's shameful that the towns have over 600 million dollars in land preservation funds and don't use it. I am also against unnecessary wars, and I'm also against unnecessary slaughter of animals that are being chased out of their natural surroundings. PS deers are not the only animals that carry ticks.

Karin Strong
What the article did not say was that the bullets being used are explosive, and therefore the deer meat would be inedible. It would be an abhorrent waste of protein if that were the case, and a horrible way to die. There are better solutions to the deer problem!

Arnold TimerThere are too many deer here as the humans have taken over their habitat. They have no natural predators here. They look like a new breed of pygmy deer due to lack of space to live and insufficient food. If you own a home here and have contributed to their loss of habitat, not only should you support the culling of the deer population, but you should also pay a tax to pay for the controlled hunt. You can't have it both ways...It's you or them.

Conservative UndergroundReally, 2500 'East End Residents'? I did not know the East End included people who live in Staten Island, Garden City, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Canada, Germany and so on. More people who don't live here offering opinions nobody wants to hear; they should worry about themselves.

JimboHaving lived herre all of my 67 years in the past two years I've had at least six close calls with hitting dear! When are these 2,500 people going to say there are too many.

SuzyScubaThe recent study indicated there is no greater deer population but rather, we are seeing them as a result of their having been displaced by over development. Deer fencing to protect private properties has caused the deer to move closer to roads. The deer were here in the Hamptons first. Humane methods to keep the population down is best. Shooting them at point blank range is cruel and inhumane. I have many deer on my property and they run with our dog and eat our bushes and I am fine with that…when I think of it, I spray the edible bushes with peppermint. Live and let live. Do not kill our deer!

SuzyScubaThere are too many human beings on the East End who do not appreciate our sensitive eco-system and wildlife.

Gabe Gonsalves : I can't believe local govt is considering such a inhumane plan......go back to the drawing board and fine another way to co-exist.

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