THE REMSENBURG PROJECT
A Case Study in Local & Effective Deer Management Policy
By Christian Killoran - November, 2014
During late 2013 and throughout the early months of 2014, the collective conglomerate consisting of the Town of Southold, the Long Island Farm Bureau, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Department of Agriculture, formulated what infamously came to be known as “The Cull”. Abhorred by the prospect of deer management being outsourced to foreign agencies and individuals, a collective body of Long Island hunters rallied to the cause of combating this affront. Leading this battle, “Hunters for Deer - HFD” was formed; seeking to halt “The Cull’s” momentum and ultimately prove that given the opportunity, Long Island hunters were more than equipped to manage their own deer population.
Fast forward to the 2014 deer season, where the Remsenburg Project is in full swing and is embodying the mission statement set forth by HFD. To date, the program has yielded a harvest of over 70 doe within a geographic area of approximately 3.9 square miles. The goal of the program is to establish a non-nuisance level population of deer that is simultaneously capable of healthy pro-creation and sustainability. Serving as a template for growth, HFD has posited the empirical data garnered from the “Remsenburg Project” as proof that Long Island hunters are the Department of Environmental Conservation’s greatest and only necessary resource. Comparatively, the efficacy of “The Remsenburg Project” leaves little doubt. Indeed, the fact that the program’s harvest numbers have been yielded during the legal hunting season, at legal hunting times, utilizing a strict bow and arrow methodology, and at zero cost to the tax payer, will hopefully forever cease such ill-guided measures such as “The Cull” in perpetuity.
Tangentially, the “Remsenburg Project” has also set forth a new ethos and mind-set amongst its participants. Relying upon open communication, cooperation and teamwork, the participating hunters have shared in each other’s respective successes’ and have cultivated a shared altruistic and kindred spirit, novel to the traditional hunter paradigm characterized by selfishness and individualism.
To qualify for participation in the “Remsenburg Project”, as well as similar expansion pilot projects to be launched by HFD, all a Long Island Hunter needs to do is join as HFD Certified Donor, pass its proficiency qualification, and execute a series of covenants including a “code of conduct” pledge and “home owner indemnity waiver”. HFD welcomes all who share its goal of responsibly stewarding local deer management programs. Interested hunters can obtain relevant information on HFD’s Facebook page or by viewing HFD’s web-site at www.huntersfordeer.org/need-a-hunter.html