Proposal For Year-Round Deer Hunting in NY.

Feb 19, 2004
One example I have 350 acres of crop land in midstate NY. I can see a 35 acre field of corn stubble out my back window and it's nothing to count 50 - 70 deer feeding. However my cocerns to this proposal are the freedom to Jonh Q, wanna be's As you and I both know there won't be any selective harvesting if it's brown John Q will put it down with no concern for future Big Buck harvesting.

Albany, NY (AP) 04/04/04 - Deer have eaten themselves out of their welcome on many New York farms, prompting a legislative proposal to allow hunting year-round on farmland to reduce damage to crops by hungry bucks, does and fawns.

With a new Cornell University study estimating deer do some $58.8 million in damage annually to New York crops, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch said current state programs to shoot deer on farmland are inadequate.

Crouch saw the damage firsthand when he ran a dairy farm in Bainbridge, Chenango County, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Deer all but ruined an alfalfa field, reducing the second growth of the season from the normal 30 inches tall to less than a foot by "foraging on it every night. They kept mowing it off."

"The other thing that happens, it is not just losing the crop for that season," he said. "Certain crops like alfalfa don't like intensive mowing. If it is continually harvested like that, it will not grow back the next year and the following year is likely to die off."

According to the Cornell study, hay, alfalfa and grain crops were most susceptible to the appetite of deer, with about half the farmers participating in a wide-ranging survey reporting such damage.

An estimated $20 million in other damage was done by deer to nursery products and fruit trees and even suburban neighborhoods are beset by foraging deer.

Farmers reported the worst damage on Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley.

"There are a lot of deer - too many deer, some say - and they're eating farm crops like crazy," said Jeffrey Williams, legislative director in Albany for the New York Farm Bureau.

Michael Markarian, the national president of the Fund for Animals, said many states are liberalizing hunting rules or issuing more special permits to try to lower the size of deer herds. And New Yorkers are not alone in seeing the deer herd expand.

"Deer are very adaptable. They adapt very well to suburban life and they reproduce and they compensate for reductions probably the best of any species," Markarian said. "More hunting might result in a short-term population reduction, but it also means that the remaining deer will have a higher reproductive rate the next spring. ... It actually triggers a higher reproductive growth."

Year-round hunting for deer would be "very, very attractive" to farmers in New York, Williams said.

The proposal from Crouch, a Republican, would require farmers to get permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to shoot deer on their land out of season. Unlike the state's current "nuisance" deer program, which requires farmers to show local DEC agents crop damage caused by deer before they can get special permits, farmers would find special hunting privileges "readily accessible," Crouch said.

Farmers could shoot deer themselves or let hunters on their property.

A current effort to thin New York's deer herd allows farmers to obtain permits to let extra deer be killed on their land during the regular hunting season.

Before the last deer hunting season in New York, the DEC estimated the state's deer herd at more than 1 million animals. About 25-percent were killed during hunting season, which lasts for roughly five weeks each fall.

Whatever the exact number of deer, farmers believe the herd is getting larger. Cornell said 55 percent of farmers surveyed said there are more deer now than five years ago. Twenty percent said deer were doing $5,000 or more in damage to their crops every year.

Currently, a farmer or hunter killing a doe out of season face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 or up to 15 days in jail and a maximum $250 fine for killing a buck.

Markarian's group favors non-hunting means of keeping deer away from crops, such as the use of fencing, repellants and having farmers work with local Cooperative Extension agents on other methods.

"It's not an easy issue and it's one of the more complex wildlife issues today," Markarian said.


New member
Nov 28, 2001
They could alway's put size and sex limitations in this proposal so that the fish and game can make the money from those that want to harvest trophy's...

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