How do you plan to address the deer and associated disease issue for residential homeowners? How would you institute a more active Town program to address this menace?[divider_1]
DOMINO: Conventional hunting is ineffective for controlling deer population in Southold. Deer… no longer a mere nuisance… have become a threat to health and safety. Experiments in other states have shown that well regulated hunting through a permit system that emphasizes harvesting of does, conducted in an aggressive but safe manner can be an effective tool to reduce herd size, while providing funding for other programs, and food for needy families. Landowners with large holdings are provided free year round doe hunting permits by the DEC. The Late winter hunting season is expanded but again is restricted to anterless deer.
Non-lethal deer control programs such as sterilization and re-location are not viable options, do not control the present population and are expensive. Immunocontraceptive vaccines show reduced. [divider_1]
GHOSIO: The deer issue is a tough issue to solve. They are very adaptive to living in suburban areas where their main predator seems to be automobiles. Without introducing natural predators such as the Gray Wolf ( not a practical idea in a suburban environment), we need to cull the herd ourselves. The town is currently trying to tackle the problem and has developed a deer management program that is slowly being changed as results come in that allow for continuous evaluation of how it is working. One of my ideas is to try to elicit help from the insurance companies that are paying out so much money in damage claims, to try to fund a sharp shooter program.[divider_1]
SANDERS: In order to address the overpopulation of deer the restrictive laws regarding hunting needs to be modified by the State. I suggest the State grant hunters the permission to bait and shoot as well as extending the hunting season so long as it does not fall during the time of deer pregnancy. Southold town has already taken measures to address these issues by opening up preserve land to hunters due to the dwindling of privately owned land.
BREDEMEYER: In 2007 I contracted Erlichiosis and nearly died from an acute infection from this tick-borne disease. Sadly, I had donated blood to LI Blood Services five days prior to being diagnosed and it was only luck of timing that my blood was withdrawn before distribution for use.
The current trajectory of human morbidity and mortality, environmental damage and costs to agriculture should compel our NYS elected officials to enable broad-based local control of deer as nuisance animals 24/7 365 days per year until animal densities are within recommended levels.
WELLS: Having attended the recent Deer Management Forum Program, it seems that all information has been gathered and the public, having heard the representative speakers, are in favor of a drastic reduction of the deer population, as am I. Although this is not a direct Trustee responsibility, I would support the following: a) petition the State to transfer control of the deer population to Southold, b) implement an immediate plan for the (non-chemical) eradication and disposal of 90% of the population, and c) implement an on-going program of monitoring the deer population, tick prevalence, and underbrush revitalization with a mandate to keep the deer population to a manageable level. The result of this action will be that there will be less cases of associated diseases, and as a Trustee matter, there will also be less run-off of deer waist into our waters.[divider_1]
DINIZIO: After attending the recent Deer Forum it is clear to me that we have too many deer in Southold Town, I would support reducing the 500 foot safety distance and allowing sharpshooters to cull the herd to whatever extent is feasible. Our current program is hindered by regulations that are not within the control of the town board; however, this year the committee did expand the number of properties included in the program to over 500 acres and Southold Town is partnering with the Farm Bureau to hire the USDA to increase the culling of deer.
EISENSTEIN: Having attended the recent Deer Management Forum I believe that the town is moving it the right direction by gathering information from experts. Everyone is in agreement that there needs to be a drastic reduction in the deer population. I believe that the control of the deer population needs to be transferred to the Town. I believe that there should be a multi-prong approach using chemical contraceptive methods as well as eradication of 90% of the deer population. Additionally there should be a public information campaign to keep people up to date as to number of Lyme cases and their location within the Town as well as the number deer – automobile collisions. There needs to be a continual deer monitoring program instituted as well to keep control of numbers.[divider_1]
ROTHMAN: The deer issue is being address by our current administration. There is a deer management program in place, est. $ 75K per year budget to deal with this issue. It is a public health/safety issue with the tick born diseases along with the damage caused to crops and automobiles. A current forum held had over 300 residents getting behind finding solutions to this problem. The only viable one to come out of this forum is culling the herd. The town has tried to implement a procedure to do this. The big hurdle is getting approval from the DEC and State to do what is necessary. Big government in the way of solving local problems.[divider_1]
FINORA: The most effective way to reduce the deer herd and subsequently lyme disease and traffic fatalities, is to increase the hunt as was done on Shelter Island. I propose extending the hunting season and promoting it among out-of-town hunters, charging them a special permit fee to hunt here. This enticement would decrease the deer herd while adding a new town revenue source.