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Message from the Mayor: Tweaks to the Deer Study
Fellow Residents -

First, I apologize for the number of emails I am sending this week - I typically try to restrict the number so as not to tax your patience or willingness to read them, but this moment requires more frequent updates.

The deer project has been underway for several days now, and the team is getting the lay of the village and a sense of where the deer are and where best to dart them so they can be inoculated with the PZP immunocontraceptive.  It will come as no surprise to most of you that the deer are in our backyards and around our village, but where they aren't in their usual numbers are in the woods where the team originally planned to dart them. Also, believe it or not, our deer are more skittish than those the team has encountered elsewhere. Deer may not move when you come out of the house and find them on your front lawn or walk by with your dog, but that is because they know who you are and are used to your habits.  A stranger with a dart projector, well, our deer have the good sense to be spooked and they high-tail it out of there ("high-tailing", of course, is exactly the correct term since that describes the deer's behavior when startled), making it that much harder to safely dart them. 

As a result, for now, the Humane Society team is shifting its strategy to darting deer where they have been observed on private properties and where they have received permission from the resident (and those neighboring them) and, most importantly,  where it is safe to do so. As the weather warms and more snow recedes, the deer may return in greater numbers to the woods, in which case the team may revert to the original strategy.  But for now, the team is going to go where the deer are (imminently sensible) and that is amidst us.  

This increases the likelihood that you will see the team in their orange vests in your neighborhood and also the chance that the deer may land up darted and unconscious on your property.  It's nothing to be alarmed about, and the team will make every effort to alert the homeowner before treating the deer.  

This is a dynamic process where the darting professionals learn our neighborhoods, the Police and the team work out their protocols, and we all figure out how it is going to work here in this and subsequent years. Thank you for your patience and if you encounter our Humane Society team (or the clearly-marked volunteers working with them), feel free to reach out and say hello.

Peter Swiderski
Mayor

Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York