MYTH: Meetings are held across NYS to seek solutions to the
"burgeoning deer population" *
TRUTH: BOW looks for more killers of deer and more killing fields
BY ANNE MULLER
(All photos by Anne Muller - many are of slides shown at the meeting)
*According to Glen Cole, Region 3, DEC, NYS has NEVER conducted a deer count.
After attending two of nine meetings held across NY State and video-taping one of them, I
discovered that there's good news and bad news.
Here's the Good News:
DEC predicts the end of hunting by 2008 unless they can come up with solutions to the
decline of hunters.
the list of causes of hunter decline was what they called "political activism."
- (I believe they avoided using the label "animal rights" because I was sitting
in the front row obviously unable to contain my joy, and they wouldn't give me the
satisfaction.) The photo above was a slide shown at the DEC meeting to make their point.
(Now, if that's not an animal rights protest, what is?)
Following that reason were "Posting" and
Here's the Bad News
Here are some of the suggestions from hunters (some are in progress)
I. A need for better public relations: - They said
"Hunters no longer have the same standing."
a) They are aware that their image is bad and they want the DEC to do
something to improve it. Someone said that it was up to hunters and not the DEC. He said
that hunters were a pretty motley crew. [Game agencies put out good PR about hunters and
hunting early and often.]
b) They want more horror stories told about how hunters rescue the public from the big bad
animals that will eat you into poverty, eat your kids and pets, or kill you on the
c) To make the extra killing palatable, gain positive PR, and satisfy
the wanton waste statute, they want the state to subsidize butchers for turning the deer
into burgers for the poor.
II. More access to lands: private, public, parkland.
a) They want the DEC to meet with Bernadette Castro (Parks
Commissioner) to open up all parklands to hunting. If she doesn't, they want the DEC to
demand to know why. [Glen Cole of the DEC said they were in meetings with Castro.] You can
contact Commissioner Castro at: 518-474-0443 or e-mail: Commissioner.Castro@oprhp.state.ny.us
b) They want the DEC to meet with all environmental groups that are
landholders, such as Scenic Hudson, to open up those lands to hunting [That, too, is in
progress.] Contact: Ned Sullivan, Exec. Director, 845-473-4440 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
c) They want the DEP to open up all watershed land to hunting around
reservoirs. [The DEC is in meetings with the DEP now.] Contact Commissioner Joel Miele
718-595-6565 or email: email@example.com
d) They want tax incentives to open private land to hunting and tax
disincentives for not opening private land to hunting. Contact your state legislators, go
to www.wildwatch.org click on letters and take it from there.
III. More killing opportunity
Dick Henry tells hunters theyre aging and that young people have to start
hunting if the "sport" is to continue.
Dick Henry of the DEC said that in NJ "if you play your cards
right" one hunter can kill about 115 deer????!!!!
a) They discussed giving permits for zones rather than the state.
This way a hunter could get a permit to kill deer in each unit. That would allow them to
kill more deer than two or three a season.
b) In areas of high deer density, hunters are encouraged to kill more
antlerless deer. [DON'T BE FOOLED - ANTLERLESS DEER AREN'T DOES-THEY ARE 33% BUCKS
(they're does, female and male fawns) They're not only killing does.]
IV. Attendees wanted better killing devices such as cross-bows [they shoot like guns].
They felt that will also bring more women to bow-hunting because women "can't handle
the regular bows." [As an aside, a woman bow-hunter said she didn't like to hunt with
firearms hunters because they disturbed her "tranquility." Is she saying that
causing a sharp arrow to cut into a large animal who thrashes, runs, staggers, bleeds and
jumps doesn't disturb her tranquility?]
They want the hunting age lowered. [Assembly member Michael Bragman has been lowering the
hunting age and is trying to lower it further in NYS.]
VI. They want Cornell Cooperative Extensions to support shooting programs everywhere. They
want the DEC to work with towns, counties, and schools to encourage hunting. [They do
already. See "Fawn" on Page 12.]
They want insurance companies to reward successful hunters! [as they
reduce deer-car collisions??!!) Please contact us to work on educating insurance
enough gusto and little interference from us, what looks like the pipedream of maniacs has
the potential to become reality.
We must start working intelligently on these issues. I would like to
suggest meetings with insurance companies to get them screaming for a change in wildlife
management. There should also be meetings with local officials to make sure that the
hunters don't get a toe-hold into areas that have been closed to them. I'd like to see
some brainstorming (just as they were doing - but it's hard for them for obvious reasons)
I waited until the end of the session to say the following:
"As your population is aging, ours is getting younger. It's apparent that your bloody
sport is doomed. Until then I would like to see bag limits of zero and closed
At that point I was asked how that would satisfy the purpose of the meeting which was to
get hunting and more hunters. (All comments had to address that purpose; their agenda was
never reported accurately in the press and the public was led to believe that this
discussion included non-lethal methods.) I answered that only my suggestion would reduce
deer populations to obviate the need for hunting. They accepted the comment and posted it
along with the others. - "Bag limit: zero, closed seasons."
You might want to send comments to: NYSDEC - BOW - Future of Deer Hunting, 21 S. Putt
Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561. For comments, I would simply say that you want to see,
"a bag limit of zero and closed seasons." That speaks their language and says it
all! STOP HUNTING AND THE POPULATION WILL NATURALLY DECREASE AS THE POPULATION STABILIZES
ITSELF AND ANIMALS AREN'T MANAGED INTO OVERPOPULATION. Please send a copy to your elected
reps. See www.wildwatch.org go to
"Letters" and you will be able to find your reps.
If you would like to intern at C.A.S.H., please contact us by e-mail.
If you aren't yet convinced of the purpose of wildlife management
(Current cover of the NYS Hunting and Trapping Regulations
From the minutes of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board (CFAB)
meeting held at the Black Rock Fish & Game Club, Mountainville, NY, Aug. 7, 2000
"Bill Connors, NYS Conservation Council (NYSCC) Region 3
Director reported that recently a famous actor was injured in a motorcycle accident with a
deer in Dutchess County. The incident prompted editorials in the Poughkeepsie Journal. for
adequate funding of the Conservation Fund and called for sound deer management to control
the growing herd. Mr. Connors recommended that the Board and the DEC exploit the
opportunity for sound management. He also reported that the NYSCC wants educational
programs in the schools. He reported that in Region 3 great strides are being
Carmine Heitzman urged all in attendance to get involved in promoting
"sportsman educational programs" in their local high schools. Everyone present
was aware of the program running in the Pine Bush High School. The program is listed as a
credit course and is the most popular elective course in the school. There was discussion
on the subject with several worthwhile suggestions made by those in attendance, including
more promotion of DEC's Eddie Eagle Program [which promotes hunting], preparation of an
instructional handbook for the course as given in Orange County, as well as greater effort
on behalf of those present to spread the program across the state." (See page 12 of