Wildlife Group to Rally to Stop East End Deer Cull

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife, a nonprofit that aims for humane treatment of local wild animals, has planned a rally Saturday, January 18, to oppose a proposal to cull the deer population on the North and South forks.

East End municipalities are poised to bring U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters to the area later this winter to kill thousands of deer. Sharpshooters will be permitted to use methods such as baiting the deer with food. Unlike hunters, these sharpshooters will be allowed to use night vision goggles and rifles. The cull is intended to target does while mostly sparing the bucks that hunters prize and because removing does will have a greater impact on the size of the deer population.

The wildlife group seeks nonlethal means of deer population control, such as contraception. A local hunters group, named Hunters for Deer, has opposed the plan for its own reasons—saying that taxpayer dollars should not be used to remove deer that belong to the people of New York State.

Those in favor of a cull have cited deer collisions with cars, the spread of Lyme disease and deer destroying crops and other vegetation.

The rally will take place January 18, at 1 p.m. Demonstrators will meet at the Hook Mill in East Hampton on the Village Green, Pantigo Road and North Main Street, then walk to Herrick Park. RSVP on Facebook.

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