Communities To Discuss Deer Harvesting

ELLICOTT – What should be done with the overpopulation of deer will be the topic during a group municipality meeting this month.

Recently, the Ellicott Town Board discussed scheduling a group meeting with other municipal officials to discuss the overpopulation of deer. Cecil Miller III, Ellicott supervisor, said the meeting will be held with Tim Spierto, Department of Environmental Conservation region 9 big game biologist, being invited to talk to municipal officials. The meeting will be held in the Ellicott Town Administration building, located at 215 S. Work St., Falconer, at 6 p.m. Monday. The public is welcome to attend.

“We are scheduling a meeting with the DEC, and it will be opened to other municipalities to learn information on deer management,” Miller said.

In August of 2011, a similar meeting was arranged by village of Celoron officials with Spierto. Officials from Lakewood, Busti, Ellicott and Celoron all attended the meeting. The late John Keeney, Celoron mayor, in August 2011 said he planned the meeting for other municipal leaders so they could hear information from Spierto to decided if a deer harvesting program should be held in their municipality.

In January 2011, the DEC released 50 permits to Celoron officials to help alleviate the deer problem in the village. Thirty-two deer were killed during the first year of the program. Celoron ran a similar program in 2012, with 12 deer being killed. This year, Celoron officials did not continue the deer-damage permit program. One reason given by Celoron officials for not continuing the deer-damage permit program is the lack of other municipalities running a similar program.

In 2012, 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 additional deer were harvested using the permits.

Only deer without antlers or having antlers measuring less than 3 inches in length could be taken using the permits, according to the DEC’s website. 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. People could have applied for the permits by visiting town hall.

Miller said he doesn’t know if every municipality should coordinate a deer management program.

“Well it is important for everyone to have information on what their options are,” he said.