As part of the Venison Donation Coalition, Southold Town has been collecting harvested deer for donation to food banks.
Last year, the first the program was in place, 162 animals were sent to Fish & Wildlife Unlimited Taxidermy in Oakdale where they are butchered and then donated to food pantries across the state. So far this year 75 deer have been dropped off and hunting season lasts until the end of January.
Last weekend DEC officer and Greenport resident Tom Gadomski was dropping off a deer he had harvested in Southold. Like mushroom hunters, deer hunters are hesitant to give out exact locations for fear of drawing crowd to their favorite spot.
For hunters like Gadomski using the term harvested instead of killed is important because it indicates the hunting is not just for sport; the deer are being turned into food. And they’re tackling the East End’s deer problem. Usually Gadomaski says he would harvest three deer per season. One for his own use, the others to give to friends. Now he’ll harvest up to seven because he knows someone will eat them.
Look for an article on this program in the next issue of Edible East End, hitting the streets the beginning of December.