The homeowners association at Crystal Brook Park in Mt. Sinai recently hired three bow hunters to help thin the deer population living there, a problem many other communities across the North Shore have been dealing with.
Deer encroaching on human populations (or the other way around) can result in complaints about gardens being eaten or traffic issues with deer getting hit by cars. Deer ticks spreading lyme disease are also a concern.
In some places the only option is to allow hunters to come onto private property to thin out the population.
“This situation is not a public hunting opportunity,” said Bill Fonda from the New York State Department of Conservation, which regulates hunting in the state. “It's a homeowners organization that is allowing hunters on an area of property that they have determined is suitable for hunting.”
Fonda said that it’s no different than farmers on the East End of Long Island who allow a limited number of individuals to hunt on land they own. Although the state DEC doesn’t manage these types of hunts, the homeowner’s organization sticks to the normal bow-hunting season, which runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31.
Hunters in these situations still must adhere to guidelines with the landowner’s permission. According to Fonda they cannot shoot across roads and the law prohibits discharge of a firearm, crossbow or longbow within 500 feet of a home, factory, school, church or playground. Fonda said that some villages may have additional no-discharge restrictions that would ban hunting altogether.
that in the villages of Old Field and Poquott, residents have also experienced an increase in deer sightings over the years and officials have taken note. In Old Field, deer seem to be causing a nuisance “when it comes to preserving the vegetation in the village,” the site reported.
Residents there have looked into ways of controlling the population, including finding one company called SavATree that suggested deer repelling sprays applied to plants to discourage the deer from nibbling and its own system using ultrasound technology.
In the Mt. Sinai community, they have already put their plan in place.
“We hired three hunters already,” said a man who answered the phone at Crystal Brook Park homeowner’s association office and did not provide a his name. “It’s been taken care of.”