Westchester Deer Bow Hunting Tests Begin June 21

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Westchester County bow hunters can begin taking proficiency tests for deer hunting this fall on June 21. Bow hunting will return to some county parks this October.
Westchester County bow hunters can begin taking proficiency tests for deer hunting this fall on June 21. Bow hunting will return to some county parks this October. Photo Credit: Courtesy Flicker User BryanSereny

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – Some Westchester parks will allow bow hunting for deer this fall, but hunters must pass proficiency tests this summer to qualify for the lottery.

Westchester County recently announced that it would reopen sections of Muscoot Farm and Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Somers, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River and Mountain Lakes Park in North Salem for bow hunters beginning in October. 

Parks representatives said the program comes in response to the recommendations of the Westchester County Citizen’s Task Force on White-tailed Deer and Forest Regeneration and "recognizing the success of regional municipalities with managing deer density," according to a release.

Westchester County residents may apply for the lottery after passing proficiency tests set for June 21 and 29 and July 14 at Blue Mountain Sportsmen Center in Cortlandt. The lottery that would grant hunting permits is set to be announced following the proficiency tests, Blue Mountain officials said this week. Applications can be found at the Westchester Parks website

During the season, Westchester County will permit hunting at Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park, Lasdon Park and Arboretum and Muscoot Farm seven days a week from 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. with specific dates to be announced in the coming weeks. At Ward Pound Ridge participants must stop actively hunting by 10 a.m. and must be completely signed out by 11 a.m., parks officials said in a press release. 

For more information, residents can visit the Westchester County Parks website or call (914) 864-7326. 

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Your theory is akin to saying that there's no point in weeding your vegetable garden, because the weeds will only increase. Whether weeding your vegetable garden or hunting to reduce the deer population, if it's regularly done, the population of weeds, or deer, will be reduced.

Hunting only lowers deer numbers on a temporary basis. Hunting reduces the population size, but the reduction results in an increase in the growth rate of the population. This increase in growth rate is brought about because of higher birth rates and lower death rates resulting from decreased competition for resources. This increased growth rate provides a surplus of deer above the number required to replace the population, and this surplus can be hunted again next year. Hunting serves no purpose other than to provide hunters with game, the DEP with funding (hunting licenses), and residents with a feeling that "something" is being done about deer numbers, while ensuring that those numbers will replenish by the next hunting season. I understand that the CTF did not invite anyone from the animal advocacy groups? I wonder why?...........No I don't.

Thank you for stating the facts here. I was going to make the exact same point. Hunting does one thing: make lots of healthy deer for hunters (well, it also makes fees for the govt). It is unethical for the County to serve as an advertising agency for hunters at the expense of our forests.

And further, just so the public is educated about this point, deer do not contribute to the prevalence of Lyme disease. The black-legged tick is on 60 different animals, and a high rate of Lyme is more clearly associated with white-footed mice and their predators. So if people are concerned about reducing Lyme disease, forget about deer and allow a robust population of predators to exist (coyotes, foxes, etc).

I don't want my tax $$ spent on hunting programs - yes naturelover, why don't they put actual CITIZENS on the County Citizen's Task Force on White-Tailed Deer? Is it because the county is paid heavily by hunters, or they stack the F&W DEC with hunters as employees - and therefore work FOR THEM instead of what the actual people want? Only 2% of the population are hunters today - thanks to all the mishaps, accidents, high or non-medical coverage for hunters, and the scandals of shooting their children, neighbors and friends on hunting trips. Some even fall out of "deer stands" where they sit and drink and wait for deer to appear so they can blast them with their AK14 assault rifles. Hunting is a horrible cowardly practice, period, and I DON'T want to fund it with my tax money. Why not give taxpayers a voice - a VOTE of whether their tax dollars should go to these outrageous ignoble hunting schemes aka "programs" in our own neighborhoods? Look in the supermarkets. Hunting is a dead non-necessity. I'm SICK of paying for harmful ignoble programs that I don't support and that 98% of the civilized world doesn't support either. Why doesn't the county/NYS for ONCE do what's right, and put real people on these "task force"(s) for wildlife.

When will the state agencies that oversee public land get out of bed with hunters? This land is funded by my taxes. 5% of the American public hunts. That is a tiny minority to warrant access to public lands to impale wildlife.

How horrible for hikers to have to worry about camo'ed hunters and flying arrows. I'm surprised that liability issues alone would not prevail here. I was told by the Yonkers municipal animal shelter that they would not let people foster kittens because they were worried about "liability." Mamaroneck village would not let volunteers oil goose eggs on village property because of liability. Kittens and geese equal "liability?" Flying arrows are okay?

These hunting programs do nothing but keep deer populations artificially high. Time for people to wake up.

Next time they convene a citizen's committee, maybe they should put some actual citizens on it.