Deer Culling Protested During Teatown's Eaglefest

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Croton-on-Hudson residents protest the deer culling that began at Teatown Friday night. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Croton Residents Protest Deer Culling at Teatown Photo Credit: whiteplainsdv
Resdents hand out flyers protesting Teatown's deer culling to cars entering Croton Point Park Saturday. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Anne Marie Marx (left) holds up signs protesting deer culling. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
There are 70 deer per square mile at Teatown's 875-acre preserve, according to Teatown's website. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.  – As Teatown Lake Reservation celebrated its 10th annual Eaglefest at Croton Point Park Saturday, a few of its members protested the nature preserve’s practice of deer culling, which began Friday night.

Photo Album Teatown Celebrates 10th Eaglefest

New York State Supreme Court Judge Lester Adler ruled Friday morning to allow the deer culling, which Teatown says is necessary because of the deteriorating condition of its forest. It says the overpopulation of deer is hurting the habitat for other wildlife. It has a density of 70 deer per square mile on its 875-acre preserve.

The recommended density is 10 or less per square mile, according to a frequently asked questions page on the Teatown website.

“We’re interested in the biodiversity of all species and the ecosystem is home to many, many animals; and we’re interested in a long-range vision to preserve the forest for all animals that live in the forest,” Kevin Carter, executive director of Teatown, told the Daily Voice.

Ann Marie Marx of Croton-on-Hudson led the protest at the entrance of Croton Point Park. She has been a member of Teatown since moving to the area three year ago.

Fellow protester Birgit Robertson, also of Croton-on-Hudson, said she has been a member for 35 years. Both said they plan to cancel their membership with Teatown.

“We’re here today to make people aware of what Teatown is doing behind people’s backs,” Marx said. “As they are presenting Eaglefest today as a nice sanitized activity, behind the scenes they are baiting and shooting deer. I think this is disgusting and despicable animal cruelty. This is completely in opposition to what they say their mission is.”

Teatown members and residents whole live near the preserve received an email Friday after Adler’s ruling notifying them that deer culling would begin Friday night.

It will last four-to-six nights depending on the weather and is being done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture using a state permit. The cull is being done using rifles and will only occur in “carefully selected and shielded areas of our preserve.”

Marx sad Teatown should try sterilizing the deer as a more humane option. However, that has been shown to reduce deer numbers by 20 to 50 percent, which would take years to have an impact and isn’t enough to allow for forest regeneration, according to the Teatown website.

“We respect their right to be here and certainly they have a passionate conviction about what they feel we’re doing,” Carter said.

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Comments (10)

tarrytownfog:

All you have to do is go for a hike in one of our many wooded parks or preserves to see the adverse effect the spike in the deer population is having on the local ecosystem. The underbrush in our wooded areas is under great pressure from the deer population. As saplings are unable to grow and replenish the forests, this will lead to major problems for all species in our woodlands. Nature is unfortunately not politically correct and to think the Teatown did not consider all options is naive. With autos being the only real predator south of 84, this is a responsible course of action for long run management of our woodlands.

Jsalo:

Calling for contraception is like handing out condoms to starving people. It's not valid as a competent solution.

Sharpshooters killing deer with well placed shots is a far more humane death than even inmates get.

It's far more humane than starving to death. Which is what happens when there are 8x more deer than the land can support.

Boilermaker:

Its good news for safer roads, There will be less dead Deer and auto crashes .The DOT and our Highway Departments should keep a record on how many dead deer are always being picked up daily. Deer are not reported for insurance accident costs.

GeneB:

The friendliest ones are easiest to kill

naturelover:

To the poster who claims that deer are over running the environment and pushing out other species, you need to look in the mirror. Last I checked there weren't 7 plus billion deer polluting the planet. Humans win the prize for that one. I think we destroy more forests than any herd of deer.

Killing deer is something that they have admitted they will be doing every year, at a very high cost to donors and taxpayers (because the shooters are from a govt agency). So if you are going to spend money every year anyway, why not use birth control (which lasts for 3 years anyway). Sounds like they didn't do their homework, and didn't foresee how much the public would be disgusted by this. This is a repulsive, cruel, unnecessary, and wasteful plan. I hope they lose donations over this big time.

Gaurand:

The lack of natural predators have increased the population to well beyond levels back when native American roamed these lands freely pushing OUT other animals that you apparently don't think deserve consideration. You don't think disease carrying deer are any problem? You are not being honest but only using your feelings as a replacement for reason. And if you feel so guilty about living here, then leave.

annemariemarx:

Whether or not deer are or are not "overrunning" the environment is not the point. The point is that there are HUMANE methods to deal with this situation such as contraception and/or sterilization. Violence is not the answer. Because of the excessive violence in the world, humans are becoming increasingly immune to it. I question how a "nature preserve" justifies using cruel and barbaric methods to decrease the supposed excessive deer population. Using sharpshooters perched in trees at night wearing infrared sensors after three weeks of baiting the deer to feel comfortable to come to the "feeding" (read "killing") stations where the sharpshooters can have an easy target is absolutely abhorrent and unnecessarily cruel.

Jsalo:

Did you attend schooling through the 12th grade or did you drop out in kindergarten when teachers still gave out gold stars?

Do you see reality through the clear lens of an educated adult or through the rainbows of a child?

Actually that question was for other readers-because I was pointing out that you look at the world through rainbows, instead of the clear, educated lens of an adult that realizes the reality of the situation, and acts not in a way that makes others "feel good" but in a way the best solves the problem at hand.

Grow up.

Gaurand:

Deer ARE overrunning the environment and pushing out other species. Those who protest the culling are blind and one sided to facts.

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