Town Likely to Nix Bow Hunting for Deer on Sagaponack Golf Course

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Mixing golf and bow hunting on the 35-acre Poxabogue Golf Course didn’t sound like a good idea to Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman last week when the Southampton Town Board took up the Village of Sagaponack’s request that it be allowed to extend its new deer management program onto a half dozen town-owned parks and preserves within its boundaries.

“It seems maybe that’s a property where we should not allow bow hunting,” Mr. Schneiderman said during a work session at which the board discussed the request with Mary Wilson, manager of the Community Preservation Fund; Kristen Doulos, director of parks; Kathleen Murray, deputy town attorney; and Frank Zappone, deputy town supervisor.

“It’s a golf course,” the supervisor continued, “not a woodland area. The deer are wide open. It doesn’t seem like a fair ….” He did not finish the sentence but later agreed when Councilwoman Christine Scalera said the open grounds of the course would make a bow hunt there “like shooting fish in a barrel.”

The idea of allowing hunting at Poxabogue after January 1, when its restaurant remains open but the course is closed, was mentioned. Only two side-by-side preserves on Wainscott Harbor Road were identified as “appropriate” for hunting during the discussion. Final recommendations will be made at the October 23 board meeting.

Sagaponack is using bow hunting expert John Rocchetta to manage its bow hunt, Mr. Zappone told the board. It is the village’s first managed hunt. Mr. Rocchetta, who has been working with the Village of North Haven on its hunt since 2015, assembles a group of qualified, licensed hunters from across Long Island. Working with property owners who are willing to allow hunting on their properties, he allots timeslots for each hunter at different locations through the season.

Bow hunts in both North Haven and Sagaponack opened this month and will continue until the end of January. Sagaponack Village Clerk Rhodi Winchell said state DEC rules apply for Sagaponack’s hunt, as they do in North Haven. Hunters must stay at least 150 feet away from homes and other occupied structures and not shoot across roadways. They must avoid posted properties.

The towns of Southampton and East Hampton jointly acquired the Poxabogue Golf Course in 2004 under their separate Community Preservation Programs. Southampton bought East Hampton’s share in 2012. It remains open for the season through the end of the December.

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