Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

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Stop Hunting

'Notice of Dangerous Condition' was served in North Barrington, IL

The 'Notice of Dangerous Condition' was served in North Barrington, IL, in response to allowing deer hunting in a gated community there.  By all accounts it caused a lot of commotion, sent public officials scrambling.  We've been in touch with one of the key participants there, who offers some thoughts and some of the press it generated (below).  (They have a very bad situation out there; a multitude of daily newspaper accounts of bloodthirsty slobbering hunting sagas).

From Kelly:

We used the Notice and some other tactics; the efforts took on a life of their own, bought us time, kept evolving...

One family sued the Property Owners Assn that sponsored the hunt.

The hunt went on after a long, hard fight.

The lesson we learned: get to court as soon as you can, we can see that now.  Thanks for your comments.  Indeed, this is a long battle and lessons can be learned from every battle fought.  

From THE DAILY HERALD www.dailyherald.com :

Residents threaten to sue hunters Letters about bow hunting go to N. Barrington leaders

Joseph Ryan Daily Herald Staff Writer

November 30, 2004

Some North Barrington residents warned Monday that hunting deer by bow and arrow in one of the town's gated subdivisions could result in lawsuits.

In a move to thwart a possible bow hunt, the residents sent notices to Wynstone Estates leaders and the village, claiming both entities will be liable if injured deer scare residents or if a hunter shoots a resident.

Last week, village officials voted 4-2 to allow Wynstone Estates, a fenced-in, upscale subdivision on a golf course, to bow-hunt 20 deer accused of ravaging landscapes and endangering drivers.

The meeting drew about a dozen residents, several of whom spoke against the bow hunt, saying it would result in bloody and disorientated deer running through the community.

"I'm still not convinced there is a deer issue in Wynstone," said Trustee Kelly Mazeski, who voted against the plan. Wynstone has not paid for an official deer count.

The notices the residents sent claim to be "legal," and a press release says they grant victims "the right to sue."

But that "has no basis in law," said Bill Braithwaite, North Barrington's attorney. Only a court can decide if a lawsuit is viable, and the village is at no risk of being targeted by a legitimate one, he said.

"This is comparable to a letter," Braithwaite said. "They are just notifying us of their opinion."

Steve Wilkins, Wynstone Estates' property manager, did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

Resident Mindy Nelson, who spoke against the hunt last week, said the notices were sent to warn residents of potential hazards and to "force Wynstone's hand" into analyzing its liability.

The tactic has been successful in other suburbs to prevent deer hunting, she said.

Wilkins and Richard Scobee, Wynstone's association president, did not reveal last week when the hunt will occur or specifically who would do it.

The residents of Wynstone, which includes more than 400 homes, have not voted to have a bow hunt. But a majority of residents have indicated in surveys that they wanted something done about the deer, Wilkins and Scobee said.

Trustee Kim Foreman, who voted against the hunt, said she supported the notices.

"We do nothing but preach to our children about living with nature, and then as a village we say, 'except when they eat our flowers,' " she said.

Trustee Bruce Sauer, a Wynstone resident who voted to allow the hunt, stressed Monday the village is not forcing the subdivision to have the hunt.

"They will make the choice as to what they want to do," he said. "That is where the responsibility lies."

The village currently has a town-wide plan to count deer this winter and then put possible remedies for the potential issue on April's ballot.

From THE DAILY HERALD, 12/4/04:

Deer hunt foes find holes in plan

 Joseph Ryan Daily Herald Staff Writer

North Barrington trustees on the short end of a village board vote to allow bow hunting in a gated subdivision are making a last- ditch lobbying effort to reverse the move.

Trustees Kim Forman and Kelly Mazeski are calling into question what they considered a key assertion by hunting proponents: that Wynstone's deer were locked in the subdivision by its wrought-iron fences.

They have provided the Daily Herald with pictures they say are of broken fences at Wynstone, and they plan to use them to convince the board to revote this week to reject the hunt.

"The trustees were not given accurate information for their vote," Forman said. "They have made it clear to us this is only a Wynstone issue, when it clearly affects all of us."

Wynstone leaders convinced the village board to allow the bow hunt two weeks ago, saying they needed to thin a deer herd that has become a danger and nuisance.

Since then, opponents have been pushing to stop the hunt, even issuing a "legal notice," warning the village and Wynstone they could be sued if a mishap occurs. The battle attracted regional attention recently when guitar rocker Ted Nugent, a fierce hunting activist, joined the debate after one of the hunting opponents called him a "redneck" in a local radio interview. Nugent blasted the hunt opponents, calling them "soulless."

The latest development centers on the deer count and their possible movement patterns. Wynstone leaders said there are at least 40 deer in a forested area of the subdivision. They said the deer cannot easily leave, and therefore bow hunting 20 would sufficiently thin the herd to reduce problems.

Forman and Mazeski said the holes they found - one from a removed post and two existing under the fence - allow deer to move freely, making the count void and lowering the chance a hunt would stop the deer problems.

Wynstone president Richard Scobee said Friday he believes the holes were created by residents that want deer to enter the subdivision.

He said the fences are checked weekly.


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