To the Editor:
An Alternative to the deer culling pilot project.
1. Conduct a survey — on the ground — to locate any dead deer that would not have been counted in the annual number of deer taken by hunting.
2. Get the number of road killed deer from the New Shoreham Police Department.
3. Get the final number of deer taken by hunters on Block Island during the 2013-2014 deer hunting season from the R. I. Department of Environmental Management.
4. Come up with a hard number of deer taken and put it into a realistic computer model.
5. Town Council should then sit down with the local hunters and come up with a list of things that can be done to increase the number of deer taken during the 2014-2015 deer hunting season. This could be done after a review of any proposals the hunters have by the Deer Task Force and possibly the New Shoreham Police Department.
6. Meet with all parties involved and put a plan in place.
7. Put a sufficient amount of money in the Town Budget to cover costs.
8. Make a request to R.I. Department of Environmental Management to change any regulations that need to be changed.
9. Proceed with the 2014-2015 deer hunting season. Results should be immediate.
In my opinion, this is the best way to proceed. Local hunters have been keeping the deer herd on Block Island in check for many years despite being able to hunt deer on only about 5 percent of the land on Block Island. And this approach will absolutely not cost $128,000 of hard-earned money. Also, any money that is spent should go to local hunters — not companies from Maine and Connecticut.
In closing, I would like people to remember that I am a life-long resident of Block Island, and have been hunting here for over 41 years. The team of deer hunters that I have been privileged to be a part of has taken over 1,200 deer in the last 17 years — without using bait, suppressors, night vision equipment or center fire rifles. If the people here on Block Island would just give us their support, this problem can be solved right here and now using local hunters.
Christopher J. Blane