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Nov 5, 2014 10:58 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hunters Take 72 Deer In First Month Of Cull In Remsenburg

Nov 5, 2014 11:21 AM

The ongoing effort to thin the deer population in Remsenburg is going better than expected, according to hunters in charge of the program.

In the cull’s first month, 72 deer have been taken, a number that has already exceeded the expectations of organizers and, as a result, prompted bow hunters to scale back their efforts this week, according to Christian Killoran, a hamlet resident who organized the cull through Hunters For Deer, a Long Island-based not-for-profit.

“I’m really happy about it,” he said. “It’s working even better than we anticipated.”

This week, Mr. Killoran said he will send out seven scouts to identify the remaining ideal hunting spots, down from 20 per week who were being sent out previously. Hunters have had access to dozens of properties in the hamlet after receiving the consent of 76 homeowners, and are also taking advantage of new setback regulations that gives them more flexibility.

This season marks the first time that those living in Remsenburg have had the option to sign a waiver permitting hunters on or near their properties to hunt for deer using high-powered bows. In order to participate, property owners had to sign a waiver indicating their interest in enrolling in the program.

Brett Copenhaver, a carpenter from Center Moriches who has been bow hunting for more than 25 years, said this has been one of the best seasons so far.

“I’ve never hunted this area before because of the setbacks,” he said while setting up on Basket Neck Road on Tuesday evening. “This, though, this is really great.”

Mr. Copenhaver said he’s killed six deer so far. He kept the meat from five and gave the sixth to a hunter friend who was not able to go out this season.

“I’m in the woods an hour before sunrise,” he said, explaining that because the deer are in heat, hunters will stay out longer to wait for their prey to come out.

He said he went with Mr. Killoran to survey the 3.7-square-mile hamlet to see how many deer were out in the open at around dusk. The hunters counted 87 deer at the time, which led to Mr. Killoran’s decision to scale back the hunt.

In spite of the program’s apparent success, some in the community remain staunchly opposed to killing the deer.

“This isn’t the wild west—we’re not out in the boondocks,” said Christine Conniff Sheahan, a 30-year resident of Remsenburg. “This is a nice community. The deer are like our pets.

“I just think it’s terrible,” she continued. “The deer don’t hurt anybody, they just hurt the silly plants. I just think you can’t equate a living creature with a plant.”

Unlike some of her neighbors, Ms. Sheahan says she enjoys being able to see deer visiting her yard, and does not think they are responsible for carrying disease-infected ticks.

Rather than hire hunters, she thinks her neighbors could improve their safety by simply obeying the speed limit, which does not exceed 40 mph on any road in the hamlet. “If a deer crosses in front of you, there’s probably two or three more waiting to follow,” Ms. Sheahan said. “You just have to be aware of that.”

She also said she speaks for many others who are afraid to take a public stance against the ongoing cull. Hunting season began on October 1 and runs through December 31.

“I wouldn’t shoot my neighbor’s dog if it came in my yard,” Ms. Sheahan said.

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For the record and as anticipated, the Remsenburg Projects has had zero property damage; zero injuries; and zero "pet" casualties. The negative consequences attendant to deer overpopulation is well documented by the objective data concerning vehicles accidents, tick spread illnesses, property damage, bio-diversity damage, and increased deer illnesses. HFD thanks all of the homeowners who have chosen to proactively deal with this situation with a free resource - Long Island Hunters.
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Nov 6, 14 5:04 PM
"Hunter/Killer Cuomo" retained the governorship, which means 4 more years of pro-hunting/trapping, slaughter and anti-wildlife/anti-animal/anti-mute swan bills, etc and who knows what else. Rogue, animal-killer agencies like USDA/DEC, FGW, supported by the NRA and hunting industry, as well as many ignorant and uncaring members of local Town Boards and their supporters, will continue to dominate and decimate wildlife, catering to their killer pals who masquerade as "deer-loving conservationists", ...more
By animalover (2), East Hampton on Nov 10, 14 8:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
When my grandson was 13, he wrote,"It shouldn’t be hard to notice that hunters use weapons and equipment that the animal would never be able to use, while the unarmed animal has to wait and die."
By Wildlife Lover (3), Brookside on Nov 12, 14 5:20 AM