Venison on Rye

deerWith the suburban deer population exploding in parts of Westchester County, the city of Rye is considering the controversial move of bringing in bow hunters to thin out the herds. The state wildlife officials estimate the city’s deer population to be 50 per square mile in areas that are better suited to 7 per square mile. The over abundance of deer is wreaking havoc on the city’s woods and gardens and dramatically increases to the risk of Lyme disease which is transmitted to humans by ticks that feed on deer. It also increase the likelihood of deer-vehicle collisions.

The city formed a deer committee several years ago to study how other communities deal with this problem. In recent years, planned hunts in such neighboring communities as Hastings-on-the-Hudson and Croton-on-Hudson, have been called off due to public outcry. Deer hunting is a sensitive issue to a lot of people.

If the Rye proposal is adapted, it will be the first time in decades that deer hunting would be permitted in the Marshlands Conservatory and other wooded areas where deer thrive. If adapted, hunters would have to demonstrate proficiency in bow hunting and would only be permitted to hunt during the county’s hunting season from Oct 1 – Dec 31. They would also be restricted from hunting within 500 ft of any residence and would require the property owner’s permission to remove a carcass from private property.

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