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      State launches major initiative to reduce deer population around Ithaca

      Expect to see a large scale deer kill in and around the City of Ithaca this fall.

      The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has established a special "deer managment focus area" that includes 60,000 acres in and around the City of Ithaca.

      Beginning Monday, the state will begin taking applications from licensed hunters to partake in the program, which will allow them to harvest as many as 2 antler-less deer per day during the bow hunting, regular, and late muzzle-loader seasons.

      In addition, the state has established a special deer hunting season from January 12 2013 until January 31.

      According to Regional Wildlife Manager Steven Joule, the deer population in that part of Tompkins County is so high they need to establish this focus area to bring down the size of the herd. He says there have been several complaints of deer damaging property because of the over-population.

      Joule says it is important to note state is not opening up any new hunting areas and that hunters must comply with municpal regulations and tresspass laws.

      Over the last several years, the Village of Cayuga Heights has been embroiled in a controversy over the need to reduce the number of deer that have taken up residence in the village limits.

      Oponents have recently dropped court action desigend to block a deer-management program within the village, but Cayuga Heights has not yet begun implementing a program, which would involve sterilization and the use of sharp shooters.