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Hunters Could Cull Staten Island Deer if Lhota Becomes Mayor

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 26, 2013 1:38pm

STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island's potato munching deer population could be targeted by hunters armed with bows and arrows if Joe Lhota becomes mayor.

The GOP candidate and former MTA chairman told the Staten Island Advance that the next mayor would have to figure out a way to make hunting work in New York City.

An option would be letting the marksmen roam the island.

“You do need to do something to control the growth of the deer population,” he told the paper.

"The next mayor is going to have to figure out how hunting is going to work.”

Over 1,500 white-tail deer are estimated to call Staten Island home, local community board members said last year. The problem was apparently exacerbated by locals feeding them potato chips.

The massive population compared to 2008, when only 24 sightings were reported to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Lhota, who hunts upstate, said that if deer hunting became legal in the city it would have to be with a bow and arrow and not guns.

Currently, hunting is not permitted in the five boroughs, but Lhota told the Advance it could work in Staten Island because it has more rural areas than other boroughs.

"I know a lot of hunters from Staten Island who go upstate to go hunting," Lhota told the Advance. "They're going to want to say, 'Hey, we can do it here at home.'"

Lhota told the Advance he knew animal-rights activist would be against the deer hunting, but the issues needs to be discussed.

"Not everybody believes in hunting," Lhota said. "So we need to have a public debate."