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Jan 26, 2015 1:39 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton's Spay-A-Doe Program Raises Financial Questions

Jan 27, 2015 1:34 PM

The East Hampton House, a hotel on the north side of Pantigo Road just outside the village, has been home to a rather unassuming guest for the past few weeks—a young female deer, which one hotel resident said was seemingly unafraid of human interaction.

“She’d come right up to the building,” said Michael Rosen, who lives in a co-op at the hotel. “We’d always laugh at her ears, because they looked so big. I couldn’t figure it out.”

Mr. Rosen finally did end up getting a closer look at his animal companion.

The property’s superintendent, Rich Kealy, discovered the doe shot dead on the first-floor entryway of the building on Thursday, January 22.

“I found her just lying out here,” Mr. Kealy said, motioning to the walkway as an East Hampton Town Police officer and workers from East Hampton Town Animal Control analyzed what looked like a fatal gunshot wound on the deer’s lower body. “She could’ve gotten shot and just wandered in. I don’t think somebody shot her right here,” he said.

It was then that they realized that what appeared to be large ears were actually white, numbered tags protruding from the doe’s head.

The tags on the deer’s ears, which read “#11,” and listed a phone number for hunters to call “prior to consumption,” indicated that the doe had recently been spayed as part of East Hampton Village’s newly implemented deer management program, which concluded its first phase last week.

The program is being conducted by White Buffalo Inc., a Connecticut-based nonprofit specializing in natural resources management. The company was contracted by East Hampton Village for a total of $135,000—$30,000 pledged by the village, and the rest from donations via the East Hampton Preservation Society—to dart, tranquilize, and perform surgery to remove the does’ ovaries as part of an effort to control the deer population throughout the village.

After the surgery, which is comparable to spaying a dog or cat, deer are tagged, indicating they’ve undergone the surgery, and released into the wild. The tags are supposed to alert hunters that the animals have undergone the surgery and are part of the program, and thus should not be killed, said White Buffalo Inc. founder Dr. Tony DeNicola.

But just days after Dr. DeNicola and his team finished up the first half of the project, reporting nearly 60 percent of the does in the village had been spayed, the deer found at the East Hampton House raises questions about the investment made in the program and its level of success.

The cost to spay a deer, from start to finish, is roughly $1,000. That means $1,000 lost with the fatality of the East Hampton House doe, and the possibility that other spayed deer were being killed by hunters or hit by cars.

According to Vickie DeNicola, director of policy and public affairs at White Buffalo Inc., three of the 125 animals handled have been reported dead to White Buffalo Inc. Of the 125, 114 were females that were then spayed, and 11 were male fawns captured accidentally. The three deaths were of female deer that had undergone the surgery, but in no case was the cause of death related to the operation.

Some residents think the money spent, and in some situations lost, by the village on the program could have been better allocated for other issues.

“What’s the point of spending a thousand dollars per deer?” asked Mr. Rosen. “There are plenty of poor people in the Hamptons, there are major problems with affordable housing—and you’re spending a grand per deer to sterilize the deer and they put them back out, to just get killed? I have a problem with that.”

But White Buffalo Inc. and East Hampton Village officials maintain that while there is some expectancy for mortality among deer involved in the program, and thus money lost, the program is anticipated to be effective in the long run.

“The village feels the potential effects of this outweigh the cost,” said Village Administrator Becky Molinaro on Friday. “We could look into putting collars on the deer as an additional indicator [for hunters], but so far, we’re confident it will be effective."

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Mr. Rosen obviously isn't gifted with insight. What he might have considered as a result of his experiences is what the appearance of a the dead doe on his doorstep indicated. First, this innocent creature had come to believe that his domicile was a source of protection and succor. Secondly, her acceptance of humans as beneficent creatures made her a sitting duck for all the psychopathic hunters who have no empathy for a fellow creature. Thirdly, the manner of her death is indicative of the ...more
By highhatsize (4183), East Quogue on Jan 26, 15 3:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is incredible how dismissive people are of the suffering of other species (for fun[!!].) It reminds one of the attitude that prevailed in the 19th century about Blacks.

Are you serious? The wordsmith compares blacks to animals or vice versa.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Feb 2, 15 8:45 PM
The saddest part is now due to the toxic chemicals injected into this deer by White Buffalo Inc this deer can not be consumed and will go to waste.To say nothing of the 114 forced abortions performed on these animals.I wonder how many more of these animal will die in the upcoming weeks due to the stress of their ordeal at the hands of White Buffalo Inc.Word around the village are that the numbers of deer already dead from this experiment is being hushed up!!!!Anyone with a backround in biology knows ...more
By bonac refugee (8), east hampton on Jan 26, 15 4:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
highhatsize..........Good God- please do some research........Deer do not go home at night to their cozy little two bedroom cottages.They don't make dinner and retire to the den to talk about their day.
To put a prey animal at the same level as a human being,to think that they can rationalize and think like a person is just utterly ridiculous.
By Walter Sobchak (22), Water Mill on Jan 26, 15 5:14 PM
I don't think the deer will commit suicide because it was forced to have an abortion.The deer will not be the black sheep of it's "family"
By Walter Sobchak (22), Water Mill on Jan 26, 15 5:16 PM
There is less stress associated with a fetus being aborted than with delivering a fawn full term. Get over it. The fetuses are the size of baby squirrels at this stage and we don't want more deer on the ground. What's wrong with you people? Deer are getting hit by cars right and left. If they were dying from the surgery or stress, you'd find them ... Crazy making. This program is working elsewhere and something needs to be done. Hunters clearly aren't getting the job done and something needs ...more
By Ben_Linton (5), Southold on Jan 26, 15 6:09 PM
Where is sterilization working elsewhere? According to the DEC. “Fertility control is often suggested or advocated by individuals and organizations as a humane and cost- effective way to control deer populations or to reduce damages or conflicts associated with deer, especially in urban-suburban areas. However, based on considerable research on fertility control for deer, including several studies sponsored by DEC, this strategy has not proven to be a viable, stand- alone option for managing ...more
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 26, 15 7:50 PM
2 members liked this comment
DEC is looking at vaccines, which aren't working. Sterilization is actually showing good results in sites where it is being used. Look at deerfriendly site. San Jose, CA saw an ~40% reduction in 2 years and Cayuga, NY saw a 30% decline in one year ... and limited immigration. There are many areas where you simply can't hunt and the deer end up in those areas. This is a good solution for communities who don't want a hunter in their backyard. Cornell performed tubal ligations and those are keeping ...more
By Ben_Linton (5), Southold on Jan 26, 15 7:57 PM
believe it or not - no matter what side of the issue you are on - it is actually cheaper to catch - exactly how they are now doing it, and transport them to "less densely populated areas - but the DEC does not allow this - also cheaper to transport them by Jitney bus or Limo ..... but not the Ambassador .....i
By johnnytax (29), new york on Jan 26, 15 6:48 PM
Solution to the deer problem...wolves...
By bird (824), Southampton on Jan 26, 15 6:52 PM
believe it or not - no matter what side of the issue you are on - it is actually cheaper to catch - exactly how they are now doing it, and transport them to "less densely populated areas - but the DEC does not allow this - also cheaper to transport them by Jitney bus or Limo ..... but not the Ambassador .....i
By johnnytax (29), new york on Jan 26, 15 6:56 PM
East Hampton Village is getting exactly what it wants...dead deer. They knew what the consequences were of sterilizing the does during this time of the year, when deer population numbers are at their lowest and the female deer are pregnant. EHV played the donors like a fiddle, using their emotions to fund a program that would not only guarantee the annihilation of the female deer populous in the village, but they also created another trophy avenue for hunters, by putting jewelry on the does who ...more
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 26, 15 7:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you, Michael, for your insight.
By wmdwjr (76), east hampton on Jan 26, 15 8:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Michael Hunter- Please send this to the East Hampton Star and to the Trustees of the village . You need to be heard by all,especially those who don't get it. many thanks,valerie
By wmdwjr (76), east hampton on Jan 27, 15 1:05 AM
Wmdwjr- are you a paid shill ? A hunter that is crying about the "abortions"..........sounds like he is trying to appeal to the anti/non -hunters to further the groups agenda......how many antlerless deer did they actually kill?.......hmmmmmmm.........seems to be a big secret.......it should be front page news if it were reality.
By Walter Sobchak (22), Water Mill on Jan 27, 15 8:04 AM
Any opinion outside of you own, does not constitute a personal attack on someone. I don't understand why those that support "science' support abortions on humans, as well as animals so easily. It must be very difficult for you to live in such fear, day in and day out, I guess that is why you have so many monikers, it makes you not feel so alone. What I harvest with my hunting license is reported within 24 hours, call DEC if you want my stats.
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 27, 15 6:00 PM
It has nothing to do with difference of opinion-it has everything to do with the propoganda that you and your club are spewing to the uninformed public......a Hunter that is crying about deer abortions?Sounds like you are trying to win the hearts and minds of the "on the fence"non- hunting public.There is no age limit on the population control of the whitetail deer.Removing antlerless deer of any and all sizes and ages is key to proper herd management.Google it.....then you can copymand paste it ...more
By Walter Sobchak (22), Water Mill on Jan 27, 15 6:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Walter you are so misinformed and clueless how Hunters For Deer works. Our Remsenburg program was made public, mainly because we live and work in this community and we felt that it was important to show other property owners, that it is up to them as to how they deal with deer on their properties. If we were a hunting club, then we would have members and they would not be confined to our restrictions, for instance, you must harvest 3 does before taking a buck on HFD managed properties. What HFD ...more
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 28, 15 10:00 AM
It's easy to respond with your rebuttal..........because it was drafted in Fantasyland.The most laughable part of the sham is the fact that a hunting club initially aligned themselves with a group of animal rights advocates because the hunting club was uneducated and ill informed from the get go about what their mission truly is.Jumping on the bandwagon to stop the issuance of new nuisance permits?.......hurting the Farmers,essentially taking money from their pockets,because memebers were turned ...more
By Walter Sobchak (22), Water Mill on Jan 28, 15 11:40 AM
Walter-Are you dating Wendy? Or is Walter really Wendy?
By KelvinBryant (3), Yaphank on Jan 28, 15 2:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
You won't call me because you don't want to hear the truth and you don't want me to know who you are, so you can continue to bash us in anonymity. Out of 71 deer harvested in Remsenburg, 3 were bucks.
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 28, 15 3:01 PM
Stop using the word "harvest" and call it what it is: murder. It's pathetic that you need to murder deer (and probably other dangerous animals like squirrels and turkeys), just so you can make yourself feel like a man instead of the impotent excuse for a human being that you truly are.
By frokman (6), Mattituck on Mar 9, 15 3:45 AM

Appendix 4 of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State 2012-2016. full text at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerplan2012.pdf)
“Fertility control is often suggested or advocated by individuals and organizations as a humane and cost- effective way to control deer populations or to reduce damages or conflicts associated with deer, especially in urban-suburban areas. However, based on considerable research on fertility ...more
By KelvinBryant (3), on Jan 26, 15 8:28 PM
The plan was signed in 2011. The State is permitting the research. They too recognize that nonlethal methods need to be developed for areas where deer cannot be hunted. The hunters aren't getting this done for free. If they were, we wouldn't have so many deer. They need to recognize that they aren't the only solution to a problem that has spread throughout the northeast and is causing rampant agricultural damage, lyme disease, deforestation and DVC. Not to villify the deer. I like them ... ...more
By Ben_Linton (5), Southold on Jan 27, 15 9:56 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Rich Morey (373), East Hampton on Jan 27, 15 4:58 PM
Rich,

They used tubal ligation in the referenced link above. EHV had the doe's ovaries ripped out, or known as ovariectomy, then they took out the fetuses and stapled the bellies of the does closed. I am sure this snow has caused a few sterilized deer to pop a staple or two.
By MichaelHunter (76), East Quogue, New York on Jan 27, 15 6:07 PM
Oh ok, thanks for the clarification. Not sure why my original comment was removed though?
By Rich Morey (373), East Hampton on Feb 4, 15 11:25 PM
And now you're a racist to boot?
Feb 2, 15 4:55 PM appended by But I'm a blank!
All that traveling around the world with the Army and you never had goat meat? That's a shame, when prepped correctly it is pretty good.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Feb 2, 15 4:55 PM
if i see one of these doe i will surely draw back
this spaying program is a joke


also, extending the bow season into january is almost pointless
it is extremely difficult to harvest a deer this late in the season at close range with a bow
they have been chased and hunted for months and aren't accepting of any unnatural scent or movement in a tree
september is the month they need to open!

also, who enjoys dressing a doe in january and having two small fetus ...more
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Feb 5, 15 7:15 PM
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