Bowmen of Shelter Island

  Donít Let Us Starve to Death

   Hi there, Shelter Island. As you probably know Iím a whitetail deer. I hope we havenít met by accident (car vs. deer that is) and Iím truly sorry for eating part of your yard and my role in the spread of Lyme Disease and Erlicrosis but. You see, itís not our fault. Just like you, we need food, a place to rest and room to live. It seems that recently, for reasons we donít quite understand, there are more people on the Island with more cars on the roads and more lots being cleared for your homes drastically reducing our range.
     Despite this habitat loss, car mortality and traditional hunter harvest, our population is growing at approx. 20% per year (according to D.E.C. data). So you see we are very adaptable, very prolific animals, which means like you, we will be here forever. But we have a big problem because our over population has put us way above our Land Carrying Capacity (L.C.C.). Normal, healthy L.G.G. is 9 deer per square mile but we poor critters on Shelter Island have grown to probably over 100. per square mile. This means that 10 of us have to share the natural browse intended for 1. Thatís starvation rations. Then some of you humans become angry with us for eating your plants and walking in front of your cars while traveling long distances to find browse.
     Recognizing the seriousness of this problem, a large group of concerned, selfless bowhunter residents, nonresidents (Jrs & Srs) educated in ethics, safety, and conservation have formed a not-for-profit organization called ìBowmen of.Shelter Islandî (B.O.S.I.). These dedicated people have volunteered to harvest primarily our older does and an occasional taxidermy grade trophy buck (if they can). Doing this should level our burgeoning population at or slightly below present dangerous levels in a few years.
     They have also planted high protein food plots of clovers and grasses in strategic areas to manipulate our movement patterns to keep us out of your plantings and out from under your car wheels. These managers have also scheduled an archery shoot to promote ethics and safety education and an annual venison dinner to promote bow hunter image. They also will keep their own harvest and census records with advice from prominent wildlife biologist~ to assure a prudent management program. All these things, equipment, rentals, seed, stationery, printing, and announcements cost money. B.O.S.I.ís only funding comes from modest annual dues. Any donation great or small is badly needed. Another vital issue is permitted land access. You can help as a land owner by allowing access to B.O.S.I. member managers (they carry B.O.S.I. ID on them) to participate in their management program in a courteous, safe, and discrete manner.
     You can all help to manage and protect what is Shelter Islandís greatest natural resource... the whitetail deer. Please send all donations, land access permission, volunteer help or services to: Bowmen of Shelter Island (B.O.S.I.), P.O. Box 1878, Shelter Island, NY 11964, or call Jim Hull at 749-1906.

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