Staten Island Residents Want to Start Bow Hunting Deer After Vasectomy Program Shows Lackluster Results

Marisa Semioli, 26, is gearing up and training for her first bow hunt this year. (Photo: WSJ)

Residents of New York’s Staten Island are in need of help. Their borough is thick with deer and their population-reduction strategies are stopping short of keeping their numbers under control, and they want to kick off a big bow hunt.

Wildlife management implemented a vasectomy program that’s run for the past three years, however, residents and officials want a better, more effective solution.

“You need to remove the deer. And I don’t mean relocate. They need to be taken out,” said experienced hunter Corey Bruggeman to the Wall Street Journal. “I would gladly give my time to that. I think it is an important issue. And I think a lot of people in Staten Island, they’re passionate about what they’re suggesting.”

However, wildlife management chief Sarah Aucoin supports the reproduction control program. “We are at the end of a three-year program that has shown success. Killing hundreds of deer was, and still is, a last resort.”

Staten Island officials hired East Coast firm White Buffalo to run the vasectomy program to the tune of $4.1 million over the three-year period. The company estimates they achieved a 15 percent reduction in the original deer population of about 2,000 in 2017.

White Buffalo claims to have sterilized 98 percent of the borough’s buck population and is currently finalizing a new five-year contract with Staten Island leadership. At over $4 million, that costs Staten Island taxpayers several thousand dollars for every male deer castrated.

Cornell University specialist Paul Curtis called White Buffalo’s estimates into question. “I wouldn’t consider that a success because at a 15 to 20 percent drop, you’ll probably see very little difference in deer collisions, no difference in deer damage or foraging on sensitive plant communities, and no difference in Lyme disease rates.”

See Also: Deer-Related Car Accidents Kill up to 200 Annually

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo openly criticized the vasectomy program. Oddo joined the state Department of Environmental Conservation in opposing the program, which stated: “as fertility-control programs are expensive and have not been proven effective, especially when conducted on male deer.”

Oddo and wildlife management believe a coordinated bow hunt could have a meaningful impact on the deer population. Oddo hopes to organize a bow hunt by the end of the year.

Tight quarters may make hunting difficult even for bow hunters. “There’s no place hunters can go and not worry about someone else coming into the forest with them,” said local hunter Chris Kiladitris.

Others are more optimistic and see a bow hunt as a great option. “I’d much rather a deer die and be used for food and hunting purposes as opposed to it getting hit by a car, suffering, and laying out in the middle of the expressway,” said Marisa Semioli, another local hunter.

Deer on Staten Island have no natural predators. Like with other uncontrolled deer populations, they do serious damage to their environment and foster tick-borne diseases.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Bill Dunlap August 6, 2019, 6:21 pm

    Most of what I read says that individual bucks, even dominate ones only breed about 5% of any particular population. However, it those unbred does come into heat again, the odds are some non-sterile buck will get to them. Bow hunters would have PAID to do the job. One of my cousins used to hunt around Newark, Delaware. For every doe he tagged in the city limits, he got an eastern shore buck tag. Let them shoot them. One of my acquaintances takes his limit with a bow on a golf course in a big golf southern city. Usually from his kid’s old tree house.

  • Chad August 6, 2019, 6:00 pm

    I love these PhD having “wildlife management degrees “obviously most never spend much time afield just because you fix most of the population doesn’t mean other bucks don’t move into the territory

  • Animal lover August 6, 2019, 2:45 pm

    The damage and harm this will cause…may God be with those bow hunters.. they will reap what they sow

  • Norm Fishler August 6, 2019, 11:32 am

    Any hunter who has been in the field during the rut could have told these geniuses that it’s only the smallest number of the dominate bucks who are impregnating all the does. Another sterling example of our tax dollars at waste.

  • Sanders (not Bernie) August 6, 2019, 10:39 am

    So, they go from having a whole bunch of nuisance deer to having a whole bunch of sterile nuisance deer?

    That’s government for you.

  • David Ingram August 6, 2019, 8:51 am

    If those numbers are right then the herd reductions cost $16,000 per head. That would be funny if it weren’t that there was probably Fed $ in there too and the rest of us had to help pay for it.

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