The USDA’s plan to use sharpshooters to reduce deer populations on Long Island, New York fell short of its goal.
Last year, Suffolk County officials partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in an effort to reduce the deer population in the East End of Long Island.
The plan called for federal sharpshooters to reduce the deer population by thousands, but they were only able to harvest approximately 200 deer.
The USDA says the low harvest numbers are due to last year’s unexpectedly cold winter as well as legal blocks from local wildlife conservationists.
East End residents petitioned the USDA for help to reduce the local deer population because they were concerned about ecosystem damage and tick-borne diseases spread by deer.
“I used to allow my child to play in the garden, and now I wouldn’t be able to do that,” East End resident told local news. Muller is concerned that her children may contract a tick-borne illness such as Lyme Disease if they are exposed to deer ticks.
State legislators are considering a bill that would expand the hunting season to March 31st so that hunters can help towns reduce their urban deer populations. Residents of the East End are hoping that an expanded season will help them deal with their epidemic.
Long Island is facing a problem that many small towns across the country are beginning to encounter. What are your thoughts on how to effectively deal with this situation?
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