On Monday I wrote how the Village of Cayuga Heights, bordering the Cornell University campus and the City of Ithaca, has spent $2,984 per deer in  a sterilization program which had no hope of reducing the deer population to an environmentally safe level.

A reader just emailed me with a press release issued this morning by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation declaring war on deer in the central Tompkins County area in and around Ithaca:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent this bulletin on 01/15/2014 12:59 PM EST

DEC Press Release

Hello,

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has issued the following press release:

Special Deer Hunting Season in Central Tompkins County to Help Control Local Deer Population

Deer Management Focus Area Open Until January 31, 2014

A special deer hunting season to help control the deer population in and around the city of Ithaca, Tompkins County, will be open until January 31, 2014, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Ken Lynch announced today.

The Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) program was initiated in 2012 in the Ithaca area to expand the use of hunting to assist local communities burdened with overabundant deer populations. The DMFA encompasses 60,000 acres of land in and around the city of Ithaca, including the city and town of Ithaca, the villages of Cayuga Heights and Lansing, and parts of the towns of Danby, Caroline, Dryden, Lansing, Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses.

During the special January season in the DMFA, registered hunters are authorized to shoot two antlerless deer per day using a shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun, or bow (if they have bowhunting eligibility). Hunters must still comply with all state trespassing laws, as well as all applicable local ordinances governing the discharge of firearms.

To participate, hunters must register with the DMFA program and download a permit, carcass tags and a hunting activity log. Both the DMFA permit and carcass tags must be carried while hunting in the DMFA and are valid only within the DMFA. All DMFA hunters must record their deer hunting activity and harvests on the hunting activity log regardless of their success or hunting activity level, and are required to submit the log form to DEC by February 7. Instructions are provided on the permit and log form.

For additional information about the DMFA, including a map of the DFMA that includes boundaries, a description of available hunting lands, or to register and download a permit, carcass tags and a hunting activity log .

I don’t think this will make a difference in Cayuga Heights, where they are still fighting a battle over whether bow hunting is allowed.  Under new proposed regulations, permission even for bow hunting “nuisance deer” will require consent from all neighbors within 500 feet of your property — what’s the chance of that?

Via Ithaca Journal:

A proposed law allowing bow shooting in the village was revised after it drew conflicting opinions from Cayuga Heights residents and elected officials.

Village efforts to reduce its deer herd have been contentious, leading to squabbles among neighbors and a lawsuit, which was decided in favor of the municipality.

The law wouldn’t allow open-season hunting in the village, Cayuga Heights Mayor Kate Supron said. It would, however, let residents kill nuisance deer with bow and arrow after getting deer damage permits, known as deer nuisance permits, from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Before killing deer, landowners also would need permission from property owners of all dwellings within a 500-foot radius, or 18 acres, of the shooting site, Supron said.

What you are seeing play out is the city/rural divide reflected also in the political landscape.

For now, I would advise the deer very strongly not to leave Cayuga Heights.

Unless, of course, they want to end up on a plate.