Suppressors will not be allowed in deer culling
White Buffalo, the sharpshooting company that will be culling Block Island’s deer herd, will not be allowed to use suppressors as part of the deer culling project. A suppressor is a device attached to a firearm that reduces the amount of noise produced by the firearm.
Rhode Island state law prohibits the use of suppression, and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) had been working with the Rhode Island Attorney General on exempting the deer culling project from that law. However, DEM Assistant Director of Natural Resources Catherine Sparks told The Block Island Times on Wednesday that the deer culling will not be exempt.
Sparks said there has been an "ongoing legal process" to determine whether or not suppressors would be allowed in the deer culling project.
"The DEM wasn't looking to bend the rules," said Sparks in reference to using the silencers. "But as part of our due diligence, the DEM legal team met with the Attorney General and had a very positive discussion with him. But the DEM is not going to be allowed to use suppressors."
In December, the New Shoreham Town Council approved a plan designed to reduce the island’s deer population by about 200, according to the DEM. This plan will include a non-recreational hunt with White Buffalo, a professional sharpshooting company.
"We’re working hard on this project," said Sparks. "Not just the DEM, but the community is working really hard on this. This is the first time for this project and it hasn’t been as seamless as I hoped. But I'm personally really heartened by the efforts of the community."
For more breaking news on the deer culling, see Friday's edition of The Block Island Times.