The Myth Concerning the Burgeoning Deer Population

MYTH: Meetings are held across NYS to seek solutions to the “burgeoning deer population” *

TRUTH: BOW looks for more killers of deer and more killing fields


(All photos by Anne Muller – many are of slides shown at the meeting)
*According to Glen Cole, Region 3, DEC, NYS has NEVER conducted a deer count.

After attending two of nine meetings held across NY State and video-taping one of them, I discovered that there’s good news and bad news.

Here’s the Good News:

The DEC predicts the end of hunting by 2008 unless they can come up with solutions to the decline of hunters.

Heading the list of causes of hunter decline was what they called “political activism.” – (I believe they avoided using the label “animal rights” because I was sitting in the front row obviously unable to contain my joy, and they wouldn’t give me the satisfaction.) The photo above was a slide shown at the DEC meeting to make their point. (Now, if that’s not an animal rights protest, what is?)

Following that reason were “Posting” and “Development.”

Here’s the Bad News

Here are some of the suggestions from hunters (some are in progress)

I. A need for better public relations: – They said “Hunters no longer have the same standing.”

a) They are aware that their image is bad and they want the DEC to do something to improve it. Someone said that it was up to hunters and not the DEC. He said that hunters were a pretty motley crew. [Game agencies put out good PR about hunters and hunting early and often.]

b) They want more horror stories told about how hunters rescue the public from the big bad animals that will eat you into poverty, eat your kids and pets, or kill you on the highway.

c) To make the extra killing palatable, gain positive PR, and satisfy the wanton waste statute, they want the state to subsidize butchers for turning the deer into burgers for the poor.

II. More access to lands: private, public, parkland.

a) They want the DEC to meet with Bernadette Castro (Parks Commissioner) to open up all parklands to hunting. If she doesn’t, they want the DEC to demand to know why. [Glen Cole of the DEC said they were in meetings with Castro.] You can contact Commissioner Castro at: 518-474-0443 or e-mail:

b) They want the DEC to meet with all environmental groups that are landholders, such as Scenic Hudson, to open up those lands to hunting [That, too, is in progress.] Contact: Ned Sullivan, Exec. Director, 845-473-4440 or email:

c) They want the DEP to open up all watershed land to hunting around reservoirs. [The DEC is in meetings with the DEP now.] Contact Commissioner Joel Miele 718-595-6565 or email:

d) They want tax incentives to open private land to hunting and tax disincentives for not opening private land to hunting. Contact your state legislators, go to click on letters and take it from there.

III. More killing opportunity

Dick Henry tells hunters they’re aging and that young people have to start hunting if the “sport” is to continue.

Dick Henry of the DEC said that in NJ “if you play your cards right” one hunter can kill about 115 deer????!!!!

a) They discussed giving permits for zones rather than the state. This way a hunter could get a permit to kill deer in each unit. That would allow them to kill more deer than two or three a season.

b) In areas of high deer density, hunters are encouraged to kill more antlerless deer. [DON’T BE FOOLED – ANTLERLESS DEER AREN’T DOES-THEY ARE 33% BUCKS (they’re does, female and male fawns) They’re not only killing does.]

IV. Attendees wanted better killing devices such as cross-bows [they shoot like guns]. They felt that will also bring more women to bow-hunting because women “can’t handle the regular bows.” [As an aside, a woman bow-hunter said she didn’t like to hunt with firearms hunters because they disturbed her “tranquility.” Is she saying that causing a sharp arrow to cut into a large animal who thrashes, runs, staggers, bleeds and jumps doesn’t disturb her tranquility?]

V. They want the hunting age lowered. [Assembly member Michael Bragman has been lowering the hunting age and is trying to lower it further in NYS.]
VI. They want Cornell Cooperative Extensions to support shooting programs everywhere. They want the DEC to work with towns, counties, and schools to encourage hunting. [They do already. See “Fawn” on Page 12.]

They want insurance companies to reward successful hunters! [as they reduce deer-car collisions??!!) Please contact us to work on educating insurance companies.

With enough gusto and little interference from us, what looks like the pipedream of maniacs has the potential to become reality.

We must start working intelligently on these issues. I would like to suggest meetings with insurance companies to get them screaming for a change in wildlife management. There should also be meetings with local officials to make sure that the hunters don’t get a toe-hold into areas that have been closed to them. I’d like to see some brainstorming (just as they were doing – but it’s hard for them for obvious reasons)

I waited until the end of the session to say the following:

“As your population is aging, ours is getting younger. It’s apparent that your bloody sport is doomed. Until then I would like to see bag limits of zero and closed seasons”

At that point I was asked how that would satisfy the purpose of the meeting which was to get hunting and more hunters. (All comments had to address that purpose; their agenda was never reported accurately in the press and the public was led to believe that this discussion included non-lethal methods.) I answered that only my suggestion would reduce deer populations to obviate the need for hunting. They accepted the comment and posted it along with the others. – “Bag limit: zero, closed seasons.”

You might want to send comments to: NYSDEC – BOW – Future of Deer Hunting, 21 S. Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561. For comments, I would simply say that you want to see, “a bag limit of zero and closed seasons.” That speaks their language and says it all! STOP HUNTING AND THE POPULATION WILL NATURALLY DECREASE AS THE POPULATION STABILIZES ITSELF AND ANIMALS AREN’T MANAGED INTO OVERPOPULATION. Please send a copy to your elected reps. See  go to “Letters” and you will be able to find your reps.

If you would like to intern at C.A.S.H., please contact us by e-mail.

If you aren’t yet convinced of the purpose of wildlife management agencies — read on….


(Current cover of the NYS Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide)

From the minutes of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board (CFAB) meeting held at the Black Rock Fish & Game Club, Mountainville, NY, Aug. 7, 2000

“Bill Connors, NYS Conservation Council (NYSCC) Region 3 Director reported that recently a famous actor was injured in a motorcycle accident with a deer in Dutchess County. The incident prompted editorials in the Poughkeepsie Journal. for adequate funding of the Conservation Fund and called for sound deer management to control the growing herd. Mr. Connors recommended that the Board and the DEC exploit the opportunity for sound management. He also reported that the NYSCC wants educational programs in the schools. He reported that in Region 3 great strides are being made…Carmine Heitzman urged all in attendance to get involved in promoting “sportsman educational programs” in their local high schools. Everyone present was aware of the program running in the Pine Bush High School. The program is listed as a credit course and is the most popular elective course in the school. There was discussion on the subject with several worthwhile suggestions made by those in attendance, including more promotion of DEC’s Eddie Eagle Program [which promotes hunting], preparation of an instructional handbook for the course as given in Orange County, as well as greater effort on behalf of those present to spread the program across the state.” (See page 12 of this newsletter)


Contact Us

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