NEW SHOREHAM – A plan to cull Block Island’s deer population has been delayed for a year, The Block Island Times reported.
The newspaper said that First Warden Kim Gaffett made the announcement at a Town Council meeting on Feb. 19, four days before the program was set to begin. Gaffett said White Buffalo, the company contracted to cull the deer, asked for the delay. According to Gaffett, White Buffalo President Anthony Denicola has “grave reservation about the effectiveness of the cull.”
Denicola also told the paper he was concerned about the announcement made earlier in February that White Buffalo would not be allowed to use suppressors – a device that reduces firearm noise, but is illegal in Rhode Island – on its weapons.
The cull was originally estimated to garner 200 deer. The R.I. Department of Environmental Management and Rhode Island Community Food Bank had entered into an agreement to carry a portion of the venison meat at the nonprofit.
“The decision to reschedule the culling is based on ensuring the success of this important project,” a DEM spokeswoman said in a statement. “It will give the town and DEM an opportunity to work to address concerns which had no time for correction this year, and be better poised to begin this project next winter.” •