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October 25, 2010 | Deer

Deer Advocates Demand End of Long Island Bow-Hunting Season

CONTACT: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals. 917.940.2725; EMAIL
MEET AT: 50 Circle Drive, off Nicolls Rd, near the stadium on the SUNY/Stony Brook campus; DIRECTIONS.

New York City--Animal advocates will hold a press conference Friday, October 29, at 11 am outside the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regional headquarters in Stony Brook, Long Island to call an end to Long Island's hunting season on deer.

Most people perceive the DEC as a neutral, scientific body, the event's organizers say. "It's time that the public learned the facts," says Edita Birnkrant, New York Director of Friends of Animals.

"Hunting and habitat manipulation for hunting on public lands, in parks, sanctuaries and refuges, is a violation of public trust," said Birnkrant.

Hunting and managing deer and other animals is increasingly being tagged by scientist for putting "evolution in reverse." It makes smaller and weaker animals more likely to survive. Moreover, it causes deer populations to rebound increase in a cyclical reaction to us. Thus the deer-management paradox: The more you hunt, the more deer you get.

"The DEC urges hunters to recruit new hunters, especially children, and its officials glorify hunting," says Bill Crain, president of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

In the DEC booklet "Hunting and Trapping: 2010-2011 Official Guide to Laws and Regulation", Patricia Riexiner, Director of the DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources, urges hunters to become mentors to potential young hunters and writes that bagging her own first turkey was "the intoxicating, set-the-hook kind of success that can turn a beginner into a smitten hunter." The Guide also is filled with ads for rifles and hunting equipment.

Organizations and individuals at the press conference will include Friends of Animals, the East Hampton Group for Wildlife, Wildlife Watch, Virginia Frati, pioneering wildlife rescuer, and Ron Delsener, a legendary manager in the pop music scene. People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation are among the supporters of the event.

The event's organizers observe that the DEC receives over half its funding from hunting licenses and fees and excise taxes on gun, ammo, and archery sales.

"The DEC wants to expand hunting to keep its jobs. The State must change the funding arrangement if the DEC is to be a truly independent body that looks out for all life in our environment," states Ellen Crain, Secretary-Treasurer of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

Advocates slammed the DEC's decision to begin the Long Island deer bow-hunting season on the first of October--a month earlier than last year. Bow hunting often results in leaving deer to die slow and painful deaths," says Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals.

In the case of pheasants, the DEC's wish to expand hunting has interfered with its mission of wildlife conservation. The DEC recognizes that pheasant populations are very low, but instead of focusing on their renewal in the wild, the DEC concentrates on stocking the birds for hunters to shoot. In the case of turkey hunting, the DEC's pro-hunting attitude interferes with human health concerns. The DEC has added wild turkey hunting on Long Island despite the fact that turkeys are a major predator of ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Friends of Animals insists that our wildlife refuges be restored as inviolate sanctuaries which allow every species there to undergo the test of nature to guarantee its survival over time. The group opposes hunting and pharmaceutical manipulation of fertility in free-living animals.

Educational pamphlets about hunting, published by Friends of Animals, will be provided to the press and public.


Edita, Did you intentionally ignore what I said? I stressed that as intelligent beings, we must be responsible so that we do not "destroy" the environment "as a means to our own end." There is no way that you can justify what you are saying. If the only species that we are to manage is our own, than you must be saying that we need to put restrictions on the human population as a whole, because believe it or not, the human population is still growing which means that we as a "species" are going to continue to require more resources and more land. Are you saying that we need to regulate the number of children a family can have and tell people how they must live so as to "not bother" the natural world in which we live in? If this is your view, then I believe that you love the creatures of this world more than humans, and if that is true, than I do not believe that you are fit to be called one. Humans are unique in every way compared to any other creature on this planet. We DO deserve to dominate the Earth simply because we can. Remember survival of the fittest? We are the fittest creatures on this planet which means that we must do whatever it takes to survive. We should feel lucky that there are people out there like you and mean that have a stress free enough life to care about the natural environment. If you were living in a third world country, and exploiting our natural resources to keep your family from starving, I don't think you would give two thoughts about how you were affecting the environment as long as there was still going to be something left for you to exploit again when needed. If you and people like you don’t like the idea of killing an animal that is okay with me. You don’t have to. I and millions upon millions of other will. You can live out your own beliefs in your own life and I will live out mine. Just don’t try to force me to do something I don’t believe in. If you want the DEC to become unbiased towards hunting and fishing, then staring forking out the money. As Kody said, sportsmen and sportswomen are the primary financial contributors to the preservation and conservation of natural areas. Maybe your organization could purchase some land for your own purposes, and let outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen contribute money to the purchase of land for theirs. Maybe you can create your one state agency called the NYS Dept. of Environmental Preservation. And then maybe you can charge everyone who wants to go bird watching or hiking a license fee so that you can fund those interests. I am glad I live in a country where people can openly express what they believe in, but I do not think that charging the DEC corrupt is an accurate statement. They are simply carrying out duties in a manner that their financial contributors find appealing. They have in no way betrayed public trust. They are trying to do what the “public,” financial contributors, depend upon them to do.

The only species that humans should be concerned about managing is our own. Blog posters Kody & Ryan seem to hold the view that the human species has the right to dominate, exploit and use other species and the natural environment as a means to our end. This destructive, violent paradigm is one that needs to be transcended. There will be nothing left to "conserve" if we do not preserve what is left of the natural world. Just as we now know that the sun, moon, stars and other planets do not revolve around the Earth, it's time to accept that the web of life on Earth does not revolve or exist to fulfill the demands of human beings. It takes maturity and letting go of the human arrogance that have shaped the social paradigm for so long, but what other choice do we really have if we are to assure a sustainable existence on Earth? And, let's call things as they are, shall we? "Harvesting" = Killing, "Conservation" does not mean exploitation, and hunters are not "sportsmen" or "sportswomen." They are people who propagate an assault on nature. And Dan: Just as I would not call a serial killer an "advocate for the rights of humans," I would not think it appropriate for a hunter, who stalks through the woods with the sole purpose of killing the non-human dwellers living there, an "advocate for the rights of animals." The most important "right" that free-living animals deserve is ~the right to be let alone.~ The DEC's corruption and betrayal of public trust is appalling, and yes, we do have the right to speak out against it, and we're excercising that right on Friday. Kody, I hope to see you there.

Sure we have been harvesting animals "Since the beginning of time". We have also have had wars and hatred toward each other "Since the beginning of time". As "Supreme Beings" we should know better than to exploit other creatures. We should be concerned mainly with limiting the numbers of humans on this fragile planet, as we are causing great damage to it. Human domination of everything is not sustainable. There will be ramifications for our arrogance.

Well said, Edita. I agree 100%. David

"Each year more than 200 people die in similar accidents. Deer collide with vehicles 1.5 million times every year - causing more than $1 billion in damage." (CBS News) and this is in the U.S. And it is estimated 6 million are killed in the U.S by hunters (I got this one from yahoo answers and I think it is a little high). Either way it looks like hunters need to harvest 1.5 million more deer each year. If people are allowed to kill their babies before they are born I just don't see the problem with animals, especially if other animals are going to be slaughtered in their place.

Just as you have the right to stand against hunting, hunters and DEC officials have the right to stand for it. Do you honestly expect them to go out and employ people who have a bias against hunting, Or no feeling one way or another? It's not like its the wild west out there, there are regulation, that are very strongly enforced by these 'pro hunting bias DEC officials'. Any hunter would tell you the same, just because they don't find hunting discusting, doesn't mean they are not advocates for the rights of animals. And Yes, hunting is part of nature, it always has been, wildlife managment is a fact of life...

Yes, I believe that all the things you just described are part of nature. There are other sources of destruction such as volcanoes, hurricanes, ect. These are considered “natural disasters” because humans have played no role, but I argue that humans are Natural Beings as well and that our impacts to the environment, destructive or not are natural. I will say however, that this does not mean that we should go on with these destructive activities haphazardly. A good aphorism is, "Do everything in moderation." Being careful about how much we impact and destroy is very important. We are never going to be able to do away with our negative impacts to the environment altogether. Man was made to use it to its advantage. We will always be manipulators of this environment simply because we can. Being careful of how we do it, so as to not destroy the resources (Earth) that we so desperately depend on, is what’s important. Carefully regulated development projects, energy production, and land-use are what need to be done. A carefully monitored and regulated hunting season is just as right as a regulated dairy farm, or hydro-electric plant. It is a way to responsibly utilize the Earth's many resources for our own enjoyment and survival. It's no secret that as humans we live a life that is full of unnecessary luxuries, but I believe it is part of the bargain. With the bestowment of the most intelligent brains come these great amenities, but with them comes responsibility. That is what we need to focus on. I do not believe that a closely regulated hunting season goes against this belief, in fact, I believe it is the exact opposite. Hunting can be used as a method to successfully and efficiently manage populations of species. Yes, all forms of hunting do not necessarily accomplish this, but some do. Whitetail deer hunting is a great example of this. In addition, hunting has created more revenue for the protection and preservation of wildlife than most can even comprehend. Look at the Pittman-Robertson, Dingell-Johnson Acts. These funds don’t just go to the management of game species. They are distributed to state agencies for use in every area imaginable, especially endangered species. Believe it or not, most hunters are outdoor enthusiasts just like yourself, and I will argue that many have a much more intimate and deeper appreciation and understanding of the outdoors, and the creatures that go along with it, than many of your counterparts. Humans are omnivores. (Though some may disagree, that is an entirely different discussion which I will take no further) Whether you eat beef, venison, fish, chicken, pheasant, or pork, you are eating an animal that was grown off of the land and harvested by a human. Some of these animals are grown domestically and some are not. One might argue that harvesting a wild animal is much less destructive to the environment simply because its entire raising occurred naturally and did not require fenced in pastures, overgrazed grasslands, manipulated water systems, ect. I respect your views, I just do not agree with them. Humans have been harvesting animals since the beginning of time, and I do not believe that we need to stop anytime soon as long as we do it in an environmentally responsible manner. A regulated hunting season is just that.

So much misinformation, it's hilarious. Your organization's ignorance shines through in that article above. I hope to make it up there Friday to see all 3 of you holding your signs. The October bow season has been in place for years (about 8 or so), not just instituted. Pheasant are a non-native species INTRODUCED BY MAN! None of their population here in NY is "natural," even the wild reproducing populations. Conservation is the management of resources for sustainability and man's use of the resources. What you preach is Preservation. Sportsman pay to fund the DEC through hunting, fishing and trapping licensing fees, and have a reasonable expectation for the DEC to manage and provide them with hunting opportunities. Your assinign "charge" of the DEC having a hunting bias, is as rediculous as you're gonna look on Friday. Of course they have a hunting bias. Thats what the sportsmen pay them for. The DEC purchases lands with sportsmans to protect them as open space and provide sportsman with the hunting/fishing opportunities they paid for with their licenses. No sportsman, no money. And then, no land purhcases, and no more open space for ANYTHING. You enviro-nuts aren't coughing up the shekles to protect the open space (aka, nature, environment, and the animals that live there) from development. It's just easier for you to stand there and whine about that which you don't have any understanding of. I'm a proud NY angler, hunter, trapper, sportsman, CONSERVATIONIST, and volunteer mentor to many children that have become successful young sportsmen and sportswomen themselves. You people should be ashamed of yourselves trying to take that away from them.

Ryan, So by your definition, clear-cutting forests, polluting the water, air & soil, and massacring free-living animals are all part of nature "taking its course" simply because human beings are part of nature? Hunting is an act ~against~ nature. Ryan, I think you'd get a lot out of reading FoA's newly published Hunting pamphlet. I'd be happy to send you a copy if you'd like to privately email me your mailing address at Edita [AT] The first page of the educational hunting pamphlet has a section entitled "What is Nature?" This is what follows: If hunting is an act against nature, it follows that we must define nature. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "So Human An Animal," Rene Dubos, the scientific investigator, provides deep insights. Dubos points out that nature is never static. Nature is a dynamic relating humanity to the total environment--a creative interplay between humans and animals, plants and other aspects of nature. This creative view is held by most scientists and naturalists. Hunting certainly doesn't quality as creative. Edita Birnkrant NY Director Friends of Animals

We are part of nature! What we do IS "nature taking its course."


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