Long Island hunter kills deer near animal hospital

The doe shot by Isidoro Scarola who died just steps from a Long Island animal hospital. Virginie Frati

A 200-acre public hunting area in Hampton Bays, New York, located on the east end of Long Island, is set to close after a hunter illegally shot a deer in a no-hunting area near from Henry Hallows Pine Barrens State Forest in early January. Isidoro Scarola, 75, of Islip Terrace killed the deer from a path that runs along the outside of the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Centre. The deer died within yards of some of the facility’s raccoon cages.

“The deer fell to the ground literally a meter from one of our cages,” said Virginia Frati, executive director of the rescue center. Patch.com. “There shouldn’t be a hunting area near a wildlife centre. It’s like putting a porn store or an adult bookstore next to a children’s playground.

Scarola admitted to investigators that he shot the deer, but did not realize he had done so from a restricted hunting area. Conservation officers found holes, presumably from the slugs Scarola used, in the fence of the rescue center property, which he has leased from the state for more than 20 years. Frati said the “bullets” only missed his workers by a few yards.

A K-9 unit also found three spent rounds within 500 feet of the buildings. In New York, it is illegal to discharge a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied structure unless you own it, rent it, or have permission from the owner.

Lawmakers passed the bill banning hunting at the site this week. Governor Kathy Hochul need only sign the bill into law.

“I am so encouraged that our state legislators have passed this legislation,” Frati said. “This is not an animal rights issue. This is a public safety issue, as we have found hunters and props near our caging buildings on numerous documented occasions. I hope the Governor will sign this bill and end the turmoil we have been experiencing for 18 years. [since hunting was opened on Henry Hallows].”

State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and State Senator Anthony Palumbo co-sponsored the bill, which they said was not against the hunt, but for safety. The hunters were crossing property leased by an animal rescue center and a trail used by the public to access a state hunting area, “hence all the conflict,” Thiele said.

“This was a very specific situation and the legislation only applies to this specific plot regarding a safety issue at the wildlife center,” Palumbo said. “As a senator, I continue to support our hunters and all avenues to reduce the deer population in the East End. This bill was limited in scope and passed with broad bipartisan support.

Read more : 5 of the Biggest Bucks Ever Caught in the Northeast

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Long Island is overpopulated with 25,000 to 30,000 white-tailed deer. The state has had culling programs on the island for more than two decades. A Deer Management Assistance Program allows licensed hunters to harvest antlerless deer from specific plots in addition to their regular season tags. Deer Damage Permit are also made available on a case-by-case basis in areas where hunting and DMAP have not been an effective means of population control.

Benjamin M. Yerger