ELLICOTT- The bait-and-shoot program in West Ellicott has been deemed unsuccessful.
In a letter to the board, Patrick W. McLaughlin, Ward 1 councilman, outlined the reasons why the long-awaited initiative at Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy's property behind Fairmount Plaza failed.
Out of the estimated deer population in that area of 60 to 70, the total number of deer taken was eight, even though the bait-and-shoot program should have allowed the harvesting of 15 to 16 minimum. Even though many residents in the area wanted the bait-and-shoot to take place, there were some residents who objected. Their presence was observed at or around the shooting sight on more than one occasion.
"For residents who have been losing plants and landscaping, I am sorry that the problem will continue, and that by this fall, the deer population will be greater and you will not notice any reduction in the deer roaming your neighborhood," McLaughlin wrote. "If a future shoot is to take place in the West Ellicott area, I would suggest that residents get together and discuss the pros and cons. If something isn't done to alleviate this problem, the area will literally be so heavily populated with deer, that auto-deer collisions will be a common occurrence. Gardens and shrubs will have to be fenced."
McLaughlin ended the letter thanking those involved with the bait-and-shoot for their efforts in trying to make it successful.
Discussion of the deer problem dates back to July 2011, around the same time Celoron began the discussion, and later implementation, of their own bait-and-shoot program. In May 2013, the issue was revisited, and after months of planning, the bait-and-shoot program was implemented.
Ellicott signed an agreement with the Department of Environmental Conservation, receiving 50 tags from them.
In other news, at the advice of New York state of Public Employee Safety and Health, Ellicott did a major overhaul on their Workplace Violence Prevention program due to the original not being extensive enough. The board also checked on the status of the 2013 AUD report and renewed the insurance policy for 2014-15.