New regulations open more land for hunting


New state regulations have opened an additional 110 acres for deer hunters in Southold Town this year.

The legislation, passed in April, decreases the distance bowhunters are required to stand away from structures from 500 to 150 feet. The move frees up 110 acres of hunting access, bringing the total acreage of huntable land to 626 acres, said Southold Town deer management committee member Jeff Standish.

The county owns about half that land, he said, and much of the new acreage is located near Bayview Avenue and Horton’s Point. Deer hunting season begins Oct. 1.

Since its implementation in 2008, hunters in the town’s deer management program have harvested 863 deer — including 265 in 2013, about double the number killed on the North Fork during a controversial federal deer cull using USDA sharpshooters earlier this year.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell previously told The Suffolk Times the former 500-foot setback restriction was one reason the Town Board voted to contribute money toward the cull.

On Tuesday, he said the acreage added under the new law should help address problems caused by deer on the local level.

“Any time regulations can help us chip away at the deer problem locally, it is a step in the right direction,” he said. During the 2013 hunting season, the town issued 108 hunting permits to Southold Town residents.

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