SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents on Long Island seem to agree that something must be done about the overpopulation of deer in their communities.
But neighbors in Smithtown filed an official complaint when one homeowner decided to hunt deer in their residential neighborhood.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, majestic woods rise behind a hilly enclave of Smithtown homes. The woods are dotted by deer.
“I never gave permission for anyone to come on my property to drag an injured deer, and why would I want that?” said Dr. Peter Soltani, a Smithtown homeowner.
Soltani returned from a hospital shift to learn from neighbors that a homeowner whose property borders Soltani’s hired a hunter to cull the herd. The other homeowner was apparently angry that deer were chewing away at his gardens.
“This whole thing is very disturbing to me — to kill all these deer to save a garden,” Soltani said.
A witness described seeing a hunter perched high on a backyard stand that was recently assembled in a tree. The hunter took aim at adjacent town property next to their backyards using a high-powered bow and arrow that is capable of taking down an animal – or more.
“There’s children. People have pets like dogs running around,” said Tom Schnadel, a Smithtown homeowner who filed a complaint after the incident. “It’s very dangerous for somebody to be in a neighborhood shooting a bow and arrow at random.”
Neighbors showed CBS2 antlers, and photos snapped from windows in the rear of their homes – including a fawn that may have been the victim of the hunter.
“If someone gets killed or hurt or maimed, it’s horrible,” said Joan Krieger of Smithtown, “and even if a child sees a dead baby deer being dragged down a driveway, how do you explain that to them?”
The homeowner who hired the hunter did not answer his door, and there were no more signs of hunting while CBS2 was at the scene.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation said the town has strict rules and regulations regarding archery hunting, which is outlawed in residential neighborhoods.
Following complaints, late Thursday Town of Smithtown code officers and Suffolk County police said they will advise the homeowner to cease and desist any hunting from his residential property.