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Oct 15, 2018 2:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Board Rejects Proposed Deer Fence Plan

Franklin Tredder, a resident of the Whitefield condominium complex, speaking at the Southampton Village Board meeting. JON WINKLER
Oct 16, 2018 11:25 AM

Following a long discussion weighing the merits of either using 8-foot-high fences or bow hunting to control the local deer population, the Southampton Village Board last week narrowly rejected a measure to allow residents to install the fences, 3-2.

The board held a public hearing on the deer fence proposal, which would have allowed residents to construct deer fences on their properties, as long as they were masked by shrubs or other plant life.

Trustees Richard Yastrzemski and William Hattrick voted in favor of the fence law on Thursday, October 11, while Mayor Michael Irving and Trustees Nancy McGann and Kimberly Allan voted against the law.

The proposal would have allowed a resident to apply to the village building inspector for a permit to install a fence. The permit would cost $500, and photographs and a survey of the property’s perimeter would be required.

The board had been investigating how effective deer fences would be since the proposal first came up in June, but had also been entertaining the possibility of bringing in bow hunters to cull the herd—although no formal proposal was on the table.

In July, the board brought in Michael Tessitore of Hunters for Deer, a not-for-profit deer hunting organization, to pitch the benefits of bow hunting to reduce the population of deer in the village.

Ms. McGann, at Thursday’s board meeting, reminded her colleagues of Mr. Tessitore’s suggestion at the time to cull the herd prior to installing deer fences.

“We did bring in a professional, and his recommendation was not to do the deer fence right away, because he says it just moves deer from property to property,” Ms. McGann said. “Could we thin the herd first, before we adopt this law? Maybe by the spring we may feel we’d be in a position to do this.”

Ms. McGann also pointed out that many residences in the village already have 8-foot-high hedges on their property, and the deer still manage to get in the yards.

Mayor Irving said that he has spoken with officials from other municipalities who agree that bow hunting is the best method of population control. He added that the fences would disrupt other wildlife. “The fences are not selective at all,” he said. “They stop the migration of deer, but they also stop migration of everything else—and that I have a problem with.”

Franklin Tredder, a resident of the Whitefield condominium complex on Hill Street, spoke in favor of the fences as a means for fellow residents of the complex to protect the property not only from deer but also the ticks that the animals carry.

“You’re depriving a property owner the right to protect their property,” Mr. Tredder said. “People have grandchildren that come to Whitefield and are walking on the grass. An 8-foot fence that you can’t see will give homeowners a chance.”

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This is a huge problem that is not just going to go away by itself. Something has got to be done. Typical politicians, can't do anything to resolve anything.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Oct 15, 18 3:55 PM
Win: Car dealers and auto body shops.
Lose: Fence installers.
By watermill_mike (35), Sag Harbor on Oct 15, 18 3:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Irving is right. Let’s kill all the deer with arrows so that other animals aren’t inconvenienced by my fence. ��
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Oct 15, 18 4:25 PM
Fences don't make good neighbors. Put up a fence and the deer concentrate on the neighbors yard.
I love deer, I hunted them, watched them and have eaten them. They are pretty and fun to watch. I have them in my yard daily. They are over populated in our village, a pest and dangerous also. The tick diseases are really bad.
They should have been controlled, long ago. It's sort of like Agawam, just ignore it and it will be a bigger problem sooner than later.
I don't bow hunt any more, ...more
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 15, 18 5:39 PM
I thought AR-15's are hunting weapons...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Oct 15, 18 7:24 PM
Hunters For Deer has had great success in Remsenburg due mainly to the overwhelming support by it’s residents. Southampton Village property owners can achieve the same efficacy, in reducing deer conflicts, by participating in our deer management program in one or both ways as follows:

1- Sponsor a hunter on your property.
2- Allow us to be within the 150’ archery discharge setbacks, while hunting on your neighbor’s property.

The Suffolk County bowhunting ...more
By Michael Tessitore (76), East Quogue, New York on Oct 15, 18 8:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Most fences are ugly. Deer and other animals (including domestic animals) do get badly caught in fences. I've often daydreamed about jumping off my shed with a knife onto a yummy deer.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Oct 15, 18 9:00 PM
You want to know who this board answers to?
Take a ride toward Dune Beach and look to your left.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Oct 16, 18 6:43 AM
Are you speaking about our Nitrogen laden lawns right next to our once pristine Shinnecock Bay.. Great grass, hosta and other plants for deer. nitrogen rich...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 17, 18 11:56 AM
Oh the irony. Would they have the Mexicans build the fences?
By deepchanel (89), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 18 8:42 AM
NO more deer fencing! Stop over developing and leave land for wildlife.
By Hillsnbells (43), Southampton on Oct 19, 18 6:33 AM