In a visit Thursday to the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, announced a bill that would control the burgeoning deer population with outdoor recreation grants to encourage farmers to open their lands to hunters.
The program, in the Senate version of the Farm Bill, would give money to the states to start incentives for farmers and ranchers to volunteer to make their land accessible.
"This is a win-win plan for Western New York's sportsmen and farmers," Schumer said. "Not only will it deliver funding to our hardworking farmers, it also keeps the swelling deer population under control so it no longer decimates millions of dollars in crops every year. The program will also open up more of our land for hunting, birding and fishing to help Western New York's wildlife-based recreation continue to grow."
Schumer cited a recent Cornell University study that reported more than $58 million in crop damage caused by deer in New York State in 2002.
He also noted that nearly two-thirds of the state's private property is posted against hunting.