Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that will expand deer hunting opportunities in Suffolk County during the January season.
The new legislation—proposed by State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and State Senator Ken LaValle—will permit hunting and the use of long bows on weekends in January throughout Suffolk County.
The new law is the second of a three-bill package sponsored by Sag Harbor resident Thiele and LaValle, of Port Jefferson. The first bill, which was approved in April, reduces the no-hunting zone around buildings from 500 to 150 feet, thereby opening up additional areas for deer hunting.
The two new laws were recommendations made by the Department of Environmental Conservation as part of its State Deer Management Plan. Both proposals were strongly supported by East End town and village elected officials.
“The recent population explosion of white-tailed deer on Eastern Long Island threatens public health, public safety, personal property and the environment,” Thiele said in a statement released from the assemblyman’s office. “These three bills taken together will provide new tools to manage the deer population.”
A third proposal, which has been approved by the Legislature and is awaiting action by the Governor, would require the State to include non-lethal fertility control as part of the state’s deer management plan. Currently, the plan only includes lethal methods.
According to Thiele, “A balance of lethal and non-lethal methods is critical to formulating an acceptable plan.”