“I wish they would do more,” said Sagaponack Village Mayor Donald Louchheim on Monday after a glance at proposed deer legislation drafted by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.
The village trustees had been asked for feedback on the proposed law, which would increase deer-hunting opportunities on the East End. Board members looked over the draft at their meeting on Monday.
Remarking on the proposed reduction of bow hunting from the current 500-foot setback from a dwelling, farm structure, school building, playground, factory, or church to 150 feet, Lee Foster, the village’s deputy mayor and a strong proponent of culling, said that “bow hunters should be allowed on your front porch.”
The law would also allow towns to eliminate current restrictions on hunting on Saturdays and Sundays, and would do away with the need for a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation as well.
“I would like to herd the deer into one place and send in a fleet of helicopters with automatic weapons,” said Mr. Louchheim. Ms. Foster offered to read the draft in its entirety, and said, “If there is something more I can add, I will.”
Mayor Louchheim confirmed, “We are in favor of looking at some more aggressive measures,” and board members agreed.
Mr. Thiele explained on Tuesday that the draft law was drawn up in response to “a population explosion of white-tailed deer” in the towns of East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southold, and Southampton, each of which would decide for itself whether to adopt it. The numerous herds “threaten public health, public safety, personal property, and the environment,” the law says.
The assemblyman said the proposal began as part of a deer management plan for East Hampton, and that all five towns have since supported it.