White-tailed deer

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Long Island Town Considers Hiring Hunters To Control Deer Population

April 23, 2019 - 4:49 pm

PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — The mayor of one Long Island town wants to allow deer hunting in the area to control an overwhelming population.

A resident who spoke with WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall says the deer in Port Jefferson have hit cars, destroyed vegetable gardens and carry ticks.

Port Jefferson Mayor Margot J. Garant told Newsday there are roughly 500 deer in the area and they need to be controlled. To do so, she is considering hiring hunters.

She adds that there were never any rules against hunting the animals in the area, it was just a matter of how and when they could do it.

The venison from the deer killed would also be donated to local food banks.

However, DJ Schubert, a biologist from the Animal Welfare Institute, says there are non-lethal ways to control the deer population, such as contraceptives that are proven to work.

He says killing the deer has the opposite effect, because there are fewer deer than the town thinks.

The ones in the area, he says, “are not competing with the other deer for food and then they end up giving birth to twins more frequently and they quickly rebuilt the population and ultimately the population will increase above and beyond the original limit.

“With lethal control, you’re in this never ending, vicious cycle of having to kill deer year after year after year. I mean that's the fundamental basis of sports hunting.”

Mayor Garant did not return a request for comment.