BUSTI - The additional deer harvested by using a DEC program this hunting season in Busti should lessen the damage done to personal property, said the town supervisor.
This past hunting season, officials in Busti participated in the state Department of Environmental Conservation's deer management assistance program. By participating in the program, 50 permits were issued to licensed hunters to harvest additional deer - aside from what state law already allows - during the open hunting season. Town officials reported 13 deer were harvested using the permits.
Only deer without antlers or having antlers measuring less than three inches in length could be taken using the permits, according to the DEC's website. Under the deer management assistance program, a specific block of land in the town was designated as the site where hunters were allowed to harvest additional deer. The area was east of Wellman Road to Trask Road and from Baker Street south to Cowing Road.
Land owners in this area could have applied to receive the permits to harvest extra deer during hunting season. Also, people who didn't live in the specified area could receive the permits with written permission from land owners in the designated region. People could have applied for the permits by visiting town hall.
Jesse Robbins, town supervisor, said the additional deer harvested should help to thin the herd in the town, which may lead to fewer car-deer accidents and less damage to landscaping for Busti residents.
''I think it will help trim back the herd so they're not eating all the plants in Lakewood,'' he said. ''In my opinion, if (the DEC program) got rid of 13 deer ... while doing it in a hunting manner, I think it was a success.''
''I think it will help trim back the herd so they're not eating all the plants in Lakewood.''
Robbins said town officials will probably participate in the program again next year.
The deer management assistance program is different than the DEC deer-damage permit program village of Celoron officials have used the last two years. In Celoron, a ''bait and shoot'' program is done at one location in the village. Celoron officials coordinated the program on land where there is no occupied building within 500 feet or where they had permission of property owners inside the regulated area. A total of 44 deer were harvested the last two years in Celoron. The Celoron deer harvest has provided more than 1,500 pounds of venison, which is donated to the Food Bank of Western New York.