One of the stupidest problems that we have out here on the East End is the deer debate. Some people think deer are these magical creatures that are wonderful to look at and everything should be done to keep them happy, while other people, like me, think that there are way too many deer running around on the East End and it should be encouraged by officials for residents to hunt them to cull the population.
I just don’t get why anybody in their right mind would want so many deer running around. They bring disease, they destroy gardens, they destroy crops, bring in ticks and cause car accidents. While I admit that I love all animals and that deer are beautiful creatures, I can’t imagine why we’d let their population get so out of control. If there were thousands of wild giraffes everywhere in the Hamptons, I’d be in favor of culling that population too. You can have too much of a good thing, and there are just too many deer right now.
I was having a conversation about this with a friend of mine who is very pro deer here in Southampton. His argument was this, “It’s not their fault that they have to run everywhere in our backyards. We’ve overbuilt the Hamptons, so they have no place to go.”
No offense, but HAVE YOU LOOKED AROUND? Deer have freaking EVERYWHERE to go and it’s because nobody is doing anything about handling the population. And the Hamptons, my friend, is far from overbuilt. I don’t think there is any place else in the entire world where there is more open space that is protected.
I recently learned that in Southampton Village, it is illegal to hunt deer with a bow and arrow on your own property if they are nuisance because it’s illegal to discharge a weapon within 500 feet of any property, even your own. So you know what I think? I think deer are getting smarter. Over the years I’ve noticed more and more deer in the Village of Southampton. They know that they are protected there because they are illegal to shoot, so they’ve moved in and in greater numbers. While walking through a public park, I noticed a group of three bucks even acting aggressively towards me. I had to raise my arms and yell in order to scare them off.
Look, here’s my point, deer are not pets. They are wild animals that need to be conserved, and a part of conservation is culling herds when they get to big in order to protect the ecosystem. I don’t think there is anything wrong with promoting deer hunting in the Hamptons and I almost think it’s kind of sad that people in favor of it have to practically hide their views on it out of fear from the other side labeling them as some kind of cruel human being with a thirst for blood.
I find it so ironic that the people who are against hunting deer to cull the population are almost always the same people who enjoy eating locally grown vegetables or locally caught seafood. I guess fish and lobster just aren’t as cute to them or something.