Assemblywoman Hunter’s Deer Management Legislation Signed into Law

On Friday, Governor Hochul signed Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter’s deer management legislation into law (A783). The bill would establish an urban deer management pilot program to mitigate deer-related vehicle accidents.

“Among the many issues I discuss with my constituents, reducing our deer population in urban areas always comes up. I am proud that after eight years of hard work, my bill to establish a pilot program for deer management has been signed into law,” said Assemblywoman Hunter. "While deer themselves are not dangerous, an overpopulation of deer can lead to an increase in automobile accidents, destruction of property, and Lyme disease. Clear standards for deer management must be established to ensure safe and effective practices that are considerate of the environment, human health, ecological health, and property,” explained Hunter.

The pilot program established by this legislation authorizes the Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) to review site-specific deer management plans to determine if the deer are destructive to property and/or a threat to public health. If the DEC determines this, they will issue a deer cull permit to a nuisance wildlife specialist.

The legislation has garnered support from elected officials across Onondaga County, including Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.

“We've made significant progress in reducing the overpopulation of deer in the City over the past five years, but there continue to be parts of Syracuse where the problem is still serious. The situation leads to dangerous deer motor vehicle collisions, damage to our ecosystem, and increased incidences of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease," said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. "We expect this legislation will allow the City to safely conduct deer removal in additional locations so we can improve public health and safety. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill and am grateful to Assemblymember Hunter and Senator May for their work on these changes and their consistent partnership in addressing this important community issue.”

“After many years of work, I am extremely proud that this legislation has been signed into law. I would like to thank Senator May for working with me on this legislation,” said Hunter. “Syracuse will finally have the ability to cull deer and reduce overpopulation. I look forward to working with DEC and local leaders to develop and implement deer management plans to keep Central New Yorkers safe."