POUND RIDGE, N.Y. Now entering its seventh year, town officials say they expect to approve the continuance of the Pound Ridge Deer Management Program at the town boards April 12 meeting.
At the monthly supervisor forum held Saturday morning at the town house, Police Chief David Ryan gave an overview of the program to a room full of hunters, conservationists and board members.
This is not a recreation program, Ryan said. Its an environmental program. To be successful, we have to be out there hunting. The goal is to cull the herd. We dont just want to have less deer; we want to have healthier deer.
The town board proposed the Deer Management Program in 2005 after a review by local environmental groups. The idea was to find a way to cull the deer herd in Pound Ridge on a limited basis. It was decided that the police department, under the direction of the town board and with input from the Deer Management Committee, State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Pound Ridge Conservation Board, would operate the program and maintain all the records.
When we started, there were no other organized programs in the county, said Deputy Supervisor and Deer Management Committee Member John Powers. Weve expanded the (deer) committee to include the county. We will recommend continuing the program with just some minor changes.
The program allows only for bow hunting, which must be done from a stand.
Bow hunting is the safest form, Ryan said. This year, we will be requiring a tree harness for when you are in your stand. If you dont already have one, go out and get one.
Those seeking to partake in the program have to pass a bow-and-arrow proficiency test to show theyre accurate from 25 yards by hitting three out of five targets. Once the test is passed, every hunter gets a photo ID card and a parking permit that must be clearly displayed on their vehicle. Hunters also have to call in to the police station when they enter the woods and call again when they leave.
Ryan said he hopes to assign properties to hunters next month and urges them to scout them throughout the summer to make their hunting more efficient.
You have to figure out where the deer are and know the property like the back of your hand, Ryan said.
Several recommendations Ryan said hed like to eventually see incorporated into the program are a deer count for bucks and does, to determine the regeneration of the woods understory, to organize regional deer management programs and to consolidate hunting properties in Pound Ridge, among others.
Ryan also noted that car/deer accident reports are down, but said it was difficult to tell why.
Supervisor Gary Warshauer said he believed the town board will vote to continue the program when it meets next month.
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