North Haven Village Stiil Considering Deer Cull

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Even as officials in East Hampton Village, East Hampton Town and Sagaponack Village backed away from a deer cull proposal last week, North Haven Village was moving in the opposite direction, approving a resolution on Tuesday, February 4, allowing Mayor Jeffrey Sander to investigate options for controlling deer in the village, including sharpshooters.

The Sag Harbor Express reported that the board had approved hiring a wildlife management firm, White Buffalo Inc., to use shotguns as a method of thinning the herd in the 2.7-square-mile village. But reached this week, village officials would only say that various options are being explored.

“It is all tentative, that is all I can say,” said Village Trustee George Butts, who declined to shed light on what procedural steps exactly took place at the meeting, which was listed on the village agenda as simply “deer.” “[We made] a move to let the mayor go out and investigate this whole thing.” When asked again what that move entailed, Mr. Butts said: “I don’t even know what it was to tell you the truth.”

Mayor Sander, who was on vacation last week, returned this week but did not return several calls seeking clarification. The village would not provide a copy of the resolution approved on February 4.

Mr. Butts later allowed that the board voted on a resolution, but was vague as to what the resolution did. “We passed a resolution to allow [Mr. Sander] to explore more options,” he said last week. “Jeff’s not here right now, [so] we’re just waiting for his … we’re just checking options.”

He did say that the village itself would be paying for the prospective cull, not any residents or outside group.

The village’s deer management plan has included both contraceptive measures and hunting. The goal is to reduce the herd to approximately 10 per square mile, which would mean only 25 to 30 deer in the village. An aerial count conducted in 2013 showed the herd at 104.

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