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Town to focus on deer, not mice

 

DON BINDLER PHOTO | The town is focusing on recreational hunting to reduce the deer herd.

DON BINDLER PHOTO | The town is focusing on recreational hunting to reduce the deer herd.

Small vermin fans can rejoice: There won’t be a band of sharpshooters or local hunters with bow or shotgun pursuing mice on Shelter Island.

Nor will town officials be deploying tiny 4-posters to lure mice to be coated with permethrin to kill ticks trying to feast on them.

While town officials struggle with controlling deer and ticks control and concentrate limited resources on the larger animals, on January 15, the members of the Deer and Tick Committee discussed what homeowners could do to try to curb the presence of mice that carry ticks on their property.

There was discussion of giving a tickicide specifically for mice to town residents, but Dr. Scott Campbell, a committee member and official at the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, said it would be impractical. Town money can be better spent deploying more 4-poster units and rewarding hunters for culling the deer herd.

The newly reconfigured committee is focusing attention on culling the herd through recreational hunting, while avoiding hiring sharpshooters. Thanks to an unidentified donor, a $100 reward to one hunter each week who bags the most number of deer is being tried during the eight-week shotgun season. Then a grand prize will be awarded at the end of the season, Police Chief Jim Read said.

If the reward fund grows, that grand prize could grow, the chief said, noting that the deer and tick problem is going to be ongoing for the foreseeable future.

In addition, 50-pound bags of corn are being made available to hunters to use to bait areas where they want to attract deer in order to shoot them. And the recycling center will accept deer carcasses without charging disposal fees to hunters.