A variety of approaches have been attempted to address the health crisis caused by the North Fork’s growing deer population, including private hunters, federal sharpshooters and a part-time wildlife manager.
Soon, Southold Town will have a new a high-tech tool in its arsenal against deer: an online map showing where the animals are congregating.
Jeff Sepenoski of the town’s information systems department demonstrated the mapping system at the Town Board’s work session meeting Tuesday morning.
The map showed a few clusters of blue dots, each representing deer activity on the North Fork. But Mr. Sepenoski cautioned that the data was incomplete because, so far, he is the only person entering data into the system and the dots on the screen represent only activity near his home.
“As we open it up to the public, these dots should be evenly distributed throughout the town,” he said.
Once enough people start using the deer locating tool, animal management officials can focus their efforts on specific areas, Mr. Sepenoski said. If, for example, a deer cluster shows up on private property, the town’s wildlife manager could try to convince the owner to allow hunting on the land.
The map tool will be added to the town’s deer management committee website and links will be forwarded to other deer management groups around town. Mr. Sepenoski said he’ll also try to spread the word through an advertisement for the map on the local government access channel.