18 Jan 14

Hunters/Animal Rights Protest Togeth ...

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

It’s not very often when hunters, animal welfare and animal rights advocates get together to protest against a deer cull.  That’s right protested together against the upcoming deer cull set to take place in February on the East End of Long Island.  Nearly 200 people showed up on Saturday, January 18, 2014, at the protest which began at Hook Windmill in East Hampton, NY, organized by Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION).  The protestors started at Hook Mill and then walked down Newtown Lane to Herrick park.  Chanting and along the way, and while passing the high end shops on Newtown Lane, many store owners came out to clap and cheer everyone on – so you can see a lot of people are against the cull.

The deer cull will have federal sharp shooters with silencers and night vision to kill up to 3,000 deer across the South and North Forks in the dark of night. East Hampton, Southold and the Town of Brookhaven are signed up for this.  Southampton has still yet to decided (at press time) and thank your Riverhead for not signing on to this and caving under peer pressure.  The Long Island Farm Buearu who have secured a grant of $250,000 to have the deer killed have also asked the towns and villages to chip in $15,000 to $25,000 towards this slaughter.

Hunters are protesting because they want to be able to hunt the deer and donate and eat the deer meat, (yuck!) and to keep the population down.   And I guesss their argument makes sense, as they have to pay for their licenses to hunt, yet the towns and villages will use your tax dollars to pay the sharp shooters?  In speaking with a few residents along the way, they are really agains the cull.  A good friend of mine, Todd, who has lived in East Hampton for well over 10 years, he said, “why don’t they just extend the hunting season?  Instead they are using our tax dollars, it’s ridiculous.”  They could also use birth control efforts like they do on Fire Island to keep the population down, I said.

I am personally not a fan of hunting of any sort and I love seeing deer wherever they are, and lived in Southampton for 6 years, and never had an issue with deer destroying anything where I lived.  And isn’t it ironic – that today  on my way out to East Hampton, I took the back roads, I didn’t see ONE deer, then on my way back, not only did I take different back roads, but I walked through a wildlife preserve near Sag Harbor, not ONE deer, and didn’t see any, anywhere the rest of the way back.

The towns are estimating that there are 30,000+ deer on both forks and throughout Riverhead.  30,000! Really, how did they count them?  Don’t you know deer travel and move around – so how did they come to that number?  Where is the proof of this?

People for the cull that live on the east end are claiming the deer are causing lyme disease, damage to their property or crops and car accidents.  Yes, there are car accidents due to deer it is sad for both parties involved. And lyme disease is common – but you can get Lyme’s disease from a deer tick on any part of Long Island – as the ticks are also on mice and other smaller animals.  Lyme disease is from the tick, not deer!  Ever walk through Bydenburgh in Hauppauge with your dog? You are bound to find ticks, yet there are no deer at that park. Gardiner’s Park in Bay Shore, any where really – you can even get a tick on you from your own landscaped backyard.  I know someone who got Lyme’s Disease that lives in NYC.

The thought of sharp shooters on the back of pick up trucks, walking around shooting deer at night is just un-nerving. Because that is a safe way to do it, can you hear my sarcasm?  For the residents of the east end I would be worried about my personal safety, children’s safety and for my pets safety.  What about tourists that are out visiting off season who don’t know bout the cull at night?  Not to mention of course the beautiful deer that will pay the ultimate price.  This cull, seems like an accident waiting to happen – and this is coming from a complete non-alarmist – but if you really think about how dumb this plan is.  There has got to be a better way.

During the protest a local East Hampton resident and his two young daugthers stopped and he said explaining to his girls, “the hunters are hear protesting against the people who don’t want the deer to be killed.” I said, “Actually everyone is here together, hunters and animal welfare advocates, they all want to stop the cull.” He was surprised.  We were discussing it along with a few other people and he too said, he doesn’t want it to happen, that he is worried for his and his family’s safety.

The deer are part of the wildlife on our Island, and I think it really sad that our elected officials think this is a good way to do things.  We are way too much of a throw away society and this is just another example of it.  (Maybe the elected officials can get a grant to clean up our island? Have you driven around anywhere lately – and noticed the TONS of garbage on the side of the road? But hey lets kill deer who are not contributing to the mess or pollution that humans do daily here.)

There are a few law suits fighting to stop this cull, both by hunters and by The East Hampton Group for Wildlife that want to stop this.  If you want to get more invovled contact LION by clicking here and ask what you can do to help stop this cull.

Even the littlest protesters where there.

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