Celoron Cancels Deer Program

CELORON – The lack of effective land and assistance from neighboring communities has led Celoron officials to stop its deer damage permit program.

Celoron officials in January of 2011 as well as January and February 2012 had coordinated a ”bait and shoot” state Department of Environmental Conservation program. A total of 44 deer were harvested the last two years.

On Thursday, John Keeney, Celoron mayor, said there aren’t enough effective locations in the village to run the state Department of Environmental Conservation program. Celoron officials had to operate the program on land where there is no occupied building within 500 feet or where they had the permission of the property owners inside the regulated area.

Last year, Scott Schrecengost said the program was done at one location in the village where 12 deer were harvested. In 2011, it was reported two locations were used to harvest 32 deer. Celoron officials have not said specifically where the harvesting was done in the village because of public safety.

”It was not profitable upon time spent and the deer harvested,” Keeney said about continuing the program in an allowable location. ”There are other areas large enough, but the owners of the property prefer we don’t do it there.”

The second reason the program will not be done again is a lack of other communities running a similar program.

”Without action by other local communities, it is almost a futile situation,” Keeney said. ”Deer harvested in Celoron are being replaced by deer in other nearby areas. Deer just don’t live in Celoron. They live in a wide range of areas. A singular program run in the center of the migration area seems fruitless because deer will come in and replace the ones taken out.”

Keeney said there have been attempts in the past to coordinate with other local municipal leaders to collectively run a deer harvesting program.

”It takes a consorted effort, in my mind, to have an affective program,” he said.

Keeney said the program is not ending because of residents disagreeing or complaining about the use of the harvesting process. The Celoron deer harvest in 2011 and 2012 provided more than 1,500 pounds of venison, which was donated to the Food Bank of Western New York.

BUSTI DEC DEER HARVESTING PROGRAM

This past hunting season, officials in Busti participated in the state DEC deer management assistance program. By participating in the program, 50 permits were issued to licensed hunters to harvest additional deer – besides what state law already allows – during the open hunting season. Town officials reported 13 deer were harvested using the permits.

Under the deer management assistance program, a specific block of land in the town was designated as the site where hunters were allowed to harvest additional deer. The area was east of Wellman Road to Trask Road and from Baker Street south to Cowing Road.

Land owners in this area could have applied to receive the permits to harvest extra deer during hunting season. Also, people who didn’t live in the specified area could receive the permits with written permission from land owners in the designated region.