The East Hampton Town Board will not vote on a resolution regarding a May turkey hunt before April 6, the board said on Tuesday.
Last week, members of the board said a resolution would be voted upon “immediately” following a public hearing scheduled for today to correct a scrivener’s error in the town code pertaining to hunting on town parklands. That code change will have to be filed with the New York State secretary of state, which John Jilnicki, the town attorney, said on Tuesday usually takes a couple of weeks.
“As soon as we get a confirmation that that’s filed with the state, then we can move forward,” he said.
The new turkey hunting season, announced by the State Department of Environmental Conservation last year, would span the month of May, with hunting permitted from a half-hour before dawn until noon and a limit of one male turkey per hunter. It would be in addition to an existing youth hunt in April and a fall hunting season.
The town could opt out of the new hunting season, and those seeking that outcome were in the majority during a town board discussion last month. At the board’s March 7 work session, however, hunters were overwhelmingly in the majority, many of them decrying a loss of rights and traditions when asking the board not to opt out of a May hunt.
On Tuesday, Terry O’Riordan, president of the East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance, thanked the board for indicating that it would not opt out of that hunt, with the likely exception of May 25 to 29, an extended Memorial Day weekend prohibition. The alliance, Mr. O’Riordan said, has collected the signatures of more than 300 residents on a petition asking that the board not opt out of the new season.
Opponents of hunting have started their own petition, at change.org, asking the board to opt out. As of yesterday morning, that petition had 538 signatures.