The hunting season began October 1 and Animal Control Officer Beau Payne outlined requirements for the Town Board at its October 2 work session that affect who can hunt where and what types of equipment hunters can use at various times during the season.The town is always seeking additional sites where hunts can take place and if a single property owner’s lot is too small, a group of neighbors can agree to allow their area to be hunted.
Bowhunting can take place from now through January 31 wherever a property owner or lessee allows it. But there must be a minimum of 150 feet from where the hunter is shooting to any structure unless the owner of the structure allows it to be closer.
Between January 6 and January 31, hunters can continue to bowhunt, but may instead opt to hunt using shotguns on certain properties. Hunters must be licensed by the state to shoot using either bows and arrows or shotguns.
Any landowner or lessee controlling at least 10 acres of land can allow shotgun use on the property but hunters with shotguns must be at least 500 feet from the nearest structure unless the property owner gives permission to the hunter to be closer.
The entire period from October 1 this year through January 31, 2019 is considered recreational hunting and no crossbows can be used.
Hunters who register with the town during that period can’t be paid per deer, but can, by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), received entries into a lottery system that makes them eligible to receive gift certificates for sporting goods supplies.
Between February 1 through March 31 on the Island is the deer damage permit period when the town seeks Nuisance Wildlife Control Officers (NWCO) licensed to cull the herd further.
Hunters who are additionally licensed as NWCOs are eligible to be paid a fee to butcher deer that are removed from selected town managed properties during this time.
The town designates a limited number of sites where culling can occur. As with the recreational hunt, discharge distances between structures and where the hunter is shooting — 150 feet for bowhunters; 500 feet for those using shotguns.
Since creossbows are also permitted under the Deer Damage Permit, hunters using them must be 250 feet from the nearest structure.
Any hunters with questions can get further information from the DEC or speak with the Island’s Animal Control Officer Beau Payne at (631) 749 5771.