Stop Bow Hunting in Rockefeller State Park

Early this year, when we approached a NYS senator about our concern over the killing of deer in Rockefeller State Park in Westchester County in NYS, he suggested that we try to get legislation passed to ban bow-hunting in NYS Parks in populated areas. Attached is a copy of the letter we sent to all NYS legislators. It was signed by Rebecca Sunshine, Joan Kayser, and Kiley Blackman of Animal Defenders of Westchester.

We are asking for your help to stop the brutal and dangerous use of bow-hunting to reduce deer populations in New York State. Although it may be legal, bow hunting is not a humane, safe, or even an effective means of deer management.

All hunting is inhumane, but bow-hunting is particularly cruel. The crippling rate is 50%, and half the deer shot by arrow never recover. Those shot may die over the course of days, weeks, or months. In addition, research has shown that it causes the females to become more fertile to compensate for the diminished herd.

Much of the rationale supporting deer culls is not based on scientific facts or the latest research. One is the link between deer and Lyme disease.

Researchers have found that there is no such thing as a deer tick. The Lyme carrying tick is the black-legged tick which will find whatever host is available to them. It has been proven that white-footed mice, not deer are the primary carriers of Lyme disease:

Deer density has no measurable effect on the number of these ticks. Eliminating deer does not eliminate ticks or reduce the risk of Lyme disease for people.

Another dubious claim is that an overabundance of deer has a negative impact on forests and other ecosystems. Studies have shown that deer density is not a leading factor in tree regeneration decline or loss of plant diversity. Many factors such as pollutants, insect damage, climatic and weather extremes, and canopies of mature trees blocking the sun, as well as others play a major role. We are the ones responsible for urban sprawl, overdevelopment and deforestation. This entire state was forest until we destroyed it. Yet deer are easy to blame for this and made the scapegoats.
Besides being unnecessary and extremely cruel, bow hunting puts the public and their pets at risk. Permitting these bow hunts with powerful and deadly weapons while unsuspecting visitors are enjoying the park is exceedingly reckless and negligent.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regularly conducts and defends these deer culls, but we do not believe they know the exact number of herds inhabiting the areas where these hunts occur. They do not systematically tag or count the deer or provide statistics on the size of the current deer populations, or the number they need to eliminate to alleviate whatever hypothetical threats they think they present.

Conducting savage bow hunts are not necessary, and our tax dollars should not be squandered on cruelty. New York State should follow the lead of others by supporting safe, humane and non-lethal deer management only. Please help us make the state parks a safe haven for its wildlife and visitors alike.

We urge our State Legislators to sponsor legislation that would ban the use of bow hunting to reduce deer populations in any state park located wholly within a county or municipality with a population of greater than 600,000 people. We would require in its place:

1) A full study completed by thermal and available light drone technology, to determine the amount of the deer population in any given parkland area; and
2) A plan be established and implemented to humanely reduce the deer population, utilizing male deer sterilization and female deer contraception.
We would appreciate it if you could meet with us at your earliest convenience to discuss this further.

Lurking in the shadows behind the benign sign of a NYS preserve, there is a sinister secret that has been exposed by three citizens who live nearby. As they were advised by a legislator, they took their desire to help the deer to the legislature. This is an uphill battle all the way, but the more exposure of the brutality and needless suffering inflicted on wild animals, the closer will be its demise.

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Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561