Deer Advocates Demand End of Long Island Bow-Hunting Season

CONTACT: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals. 917.940.2725; EMAIL
MEET AT: 50 Circle Drive, off Nicolls Rd, near the stadium on the SUNY/Stony Brook campus; DIRECTIONS.

New York City–Animal advocates will hold a press conference Friday, October 29, at 11 am outside the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regional headquarters in Stony Brook, Long Island to call an end to Long Island’s hunting season on deer.

Most people perceive the DEC as a neutral, scientific body, the event’s organizers say. “It’s time that the public learned the facts,” says Edita Birnkrant, New York Director of Friends of Animals.

“Hunting and habitat manipulation for hunting on public lands, in parks, sanctuaries and refuges, is a violation of public trust,” said Birnkrant.

Hunting and managing deer and other animals is increasingly being tagged by scientist for putting “evolution in reverse.” It makes smaller and weaker animals more likely to survive. Moreover, it causes deer populations to rebound increase in a cyclical reaction to us. Thus the deer-management paradox: The more you hunt, the more deer you get.

“The DEC urges hunters to recruit new hunters, especially children, and its officials glorify hunting,” says Bill Crain, president of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

In the DEC booklet “Hunting and Trapping: 2010-2011 Official Guide to Laws and Regulation”, Patricia Riexiner, Director of the DEC’s Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources, urges hunters to become mentors to potential young hunters and writes that bagging her own first turkey was “the intoxicating, set-the-hook kind of success that can turn a beginner into a smitten hunter.” The Guide also is filled with ads for rifles and hunting equipment.

Organizations and individuals at the press conference will include Friends of Animals, the East Hampton Group for Wildlife, Wildlife Watch, Virginia Frati, pioneering wildlife rescuer, and Ron Delsener, a legendary manager in the pop music scene. People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation are among the supporters of the event.

The event’s organizers observe that the DEC receives over half its funding from hunting licenses and fees and excise taxes on gun, ammo, and archery sales.

“The DEC wants to expand hunting to keep its jobs. The State must change the funding arrangement if the DEC is to be a truly independent body that looks out for all life in our environment,” states Ellen Crain, Secretary-Treasurer of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

Advocates slammed the DEC’s decision to begin the Long Island deer bow-hunting season on the first of October–a month earlier than last year. Bow hunting often results in leaving deer to die slow and painful deaths,” says Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals.

In the case of pheasants, the DEC’s wish to expand hunting has interfered with its mission of wildlife conservation. The DEC recognizes that pheasant populations are very low, but instead of focusing on their renewal in the wild, the DEC concentrates on stocking the birds for hunters to shoot. In the case of turkey hunting, the DEC’s pro-hunting attitude interferes with human health concerns. The DEC has added wild turkey hunting on Long Island despite the fact that turkeys are a major predator of ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Friends of Animals insists that our wildlife refuges be restored as inviolate sanctuaries which allow every species there to undergo the test of nature to guarantee its survival over time. The group opposes hunting and pharmaceutical manipulation of fertility in free-living animals.

Educational pamphlets about hunting, published by Friends of Animals, will be provided to the press and public.