Manny Fabrele, the Montauk man responsible for creating the bulletproof “DeerVest” body armor system for local deer, has unveiled the next phase of his project to save the animals from a coming cull by federal sharpshooters in the Hamptons — the DeerHelmet.
A retired Marine scout sniper, Fabrele calls himself a workaholic and say it’s difficult for him to stop, even after the sun goes down. “I don’t sleep, so I’m always busy,” Fabrele says. “The DeerVest initiative was fully backed after we got some press, so production is in full swing and our volunteers are already moving along with outfitting area deer, so I figured I’d try some other ideas.”
With funding in place, Fabrele and his people are making hundreds of DeerVests, while also dealing with the arduous task of getting them strapped onto deer — without letting either effort slow the other. “In the meantime, I’d been hearing a lot of cracks and comments from haters out there, saying that my DeerVests won’t protect against a headshot,” the inventor says. “Well, consider the problem solved.”
Fabrele has yet to secure enough money for a full run of DeerHelmets, but he says the prototypes are made of kevlar and ceramic body armor plates, as well as refitted polarized goggles to help deer see hunters and federal sharpshooters from a greater distance. “Deer see very little more than movement,” Fabrele said, “but these goggles go a long way toward improving that deficiency in the wild.”
Depending on how long he has before the proposed cull, which would allow federal sharpshooters to execute 2,000 to 3,000 East End deer, and how much money he can raise, Fabrele says he could make the animals “virtually indestructible” against common weapons. “By the time I’m done, these guys will need grenades, C-4 and RPGs to put a dent in the population,” he says. “Heck, give me enough time and money, and I’ll have the deer shooting back.”
In related news, deer wearing Fabrele’s DeerVests have been seen around the Hamptons over the last two weeks, and some intrepid local shutterbugs have managed to catch a few on film. The pictures are collected below.