The Village of Sagaponack was hoping to add six town-owned properties to its “wildlife management plan,” but only two of the parcels were approved for bow hunting by the Southampton Town Board on Thursday, October 18.
The proposal was originally brought to the board at an October 11 work session, but Supervisor Jay Schneiderman asked his team of Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, Parks Director Kristen Doulos, and Community Preservation Manager Mary Wilson to find out some more information before the board reached its final decision. These properties included the Poxabogue Golf Course, farmland on Townline Road, two areas along the Long Pond Greenbelt, and two parcels in Sag Woods.
“It’s not a wooded area. The deer are out in the open,” Schneiderman said of shooting at the golf course. “It doesn’t seem like fair game.”
Doulos added that the Fairway restaurant remains open through the winter. Bow-hunting season, managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation, runs until January 31.
“I’d consider that an active park,” she said of the area, and Schneiderman added, “You can’t have an overlap there with people bow hunting and playing golf.”
The town was similarly concerned with the farmland on Townline Road, which is west of Townline BBQ and south of Montauk Highway. Councilwoman Christine Scalera raised several issues with hunting at the location, which is owned by a farmer.
“Shooting in a wide-open space is like shooting fish in a barrel,” she said. “And my main concern with the farmland up by the highway wasn’t so much my concern for the deer, although I’m somewhat sympathetic. My concern is that it’s right next to a restaurant that is pretty popular. It doesn’t seem to me as something that would lend itself to this kind of a program.”
Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni was also worried about liability in the event of an accident on the highway.
The two parcels along the Long Pond Greenbelt drew Community Preservation Fund comments. Although both were bought in the 1990s prior to the formation of the fund, Wilson said the town has been in talks to buy the parcel adjacent to them for preservation and said the greenbelt management plan does not permit hunting. That was enough for the board to decide against it.
The last properties on Wainscott Harbor Road in Sag Woods, according to Wilson, are two large plots, about four acres each, with no wetlands. The board saw no reason not to allow hunting on the properties, since they have not been preserved with CPF money and there are no plans for anything to be done with the parcels in the future.
“It would be appropriate,” Wilson said. “But the village will have to get permission from the two nearby homes, and hunters have to abide by regulations — they can’t be 150 feet from any home.”
The town plans to enter into an intermunicipal agreement with the village to extend the program to allow hunting on these two properties this season.