Hunters sue Smithtown over measure prohibiting guns within much of town

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SMITHTOWN -

Hunters are suing Smithtown due to a measure that prohibits using guns within much of the town.

Hunters for Deer, a nonprofit organization that connects homeowners with trained bow hunters to reduce deer populations, is suing the town of Smithtown, which prohibits hunting on private property within 500 yards of occupied buildings and public places.

Christian Killoran, a lawyer representing Hunters for Deer, says the town has no legal authority to override the less-strict New York state law regarding hunting on private property.

“Hunting is a legal right that is regulated by New York state, particularly the [Department of Environmental Conservation],” he says.

The DEC says there are roughly 35,000 deer on Long Island. It says hunters killed at least 60 deer in Smithtown last year and 100 the year before.

Smithtown officials declined to comment, but in court filings rejected the argument made by Hunters for Deer and asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed. 

Smithtown residents News 12 spoke with acknowledged that deer are a nuisance, but they did not think that hunting them was a good solution.

Hunters for Deer is hoping the lawsuit is settled in its favor by the beginning of the next deer hunting season in the fall.

Deer hunters filed a similar lawsuit in 2015 against Sag Harbor, which resulted in the village dropping its restrictions on hunting.

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