Acting as plain vanilla realtors, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has put land up for sale. They are calling for bids from private buyers. This isn’t just any land, this is the only habitat of the white deer. In the opinion of Wildlife Watch, it is holy land.

On its website, the IDA offers this description:

FEATURES USE AND OPPORTUNITY • Actively managed conservation area to preserve wildlife unique to the depot • Cohabitate with alternative energy • White deer: unique breed of white-tailed deer that are rare, but not protected • Other important flora/fauna typical to this part of NY State and similar to other area parks • Protected areas: None

Presently, there is a struggle going on between two groups: those who want economic development of any kind, and those who want only ecotourism that will allow for some hunting. Of course, Wildlife Watch wants to see ecotourism, but WITHOUT HUNTING.

If you want to help preserve this land for ecotourism without hunting, then do jump into the fray.

The Industrial Development Agency is presently taking bids!

The website of Seneca White Deer the group that would like ecotourism including some hunting states:


The Army Corps of Engineers has conducted an annual deer hunt on the Depot to keep the deer population within the carrying capacity of the habitat. Over-population of the deer has led to starvation and disease in the past. The most efficient and cost-effective population control method has been found to be a strictly regulated hunt. These hunts have been held in November and have been open to active and retired military members on a lottery basis. If you are interested in hunting on the Depot, you can contact Stephen M. Absolom, Installation Manager, at, (607) 869-1309, to get information on how to apply for the hunt.

- See more at:

Please don’t think that the NYS Bureau of Wildlife (BOW) within the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will help, as their mission is to promote more hunting.

In 2008, Wildlife Watch and Peter Muller were extremely involved in the local political process affecting the white deer of Seneca.  Peter Muller wrote the Encyclopedia Britannica/Advocacy article at that time, when the deer were initially put at risk.  This is an interesting and informative read.  Be sure to read all of the comments as well, please visit:

The White Deer of the Seneca Army Depot

Comments flew back and forth among those who saw no way to avoid hunting, those who wanted hunting regardless of whether it was needed,  and those who strongly opposed hunting. A well-respected photographer, Lee Brun, whose photos of the white deer are in the Britannica article said that hunting was necessary to reduce the population.  Peter Muller responded this way:

Lee, we all greatly respect and appreciate your wildlife photography, especially your images of the Seneca white deer.

… As you know, I made a serious effort extending over several months, with countless meetings, to work with Dennis Money and his group. I offered many scenarios to accommodate them. It was their total intransigence when it came to giving immunocontraception a chance that broke up the effort at a “grand coalition.”

…As a wildlife biologist, you surely know of the many successful applications by pioneers of immunocontraception, such as Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, using immunocontraception in precisely such settings (closed site with little or no in-migration or out-migration). If hunting were to be introduced in the park — it would be solely to increase the revenues of the enterprise not out of necessity for deer population management.

Humane and non-lethal solutions can be found to any overpopulation.


 If you are in the Seneca County area and would like to promote ecotourism without hunting, please let us hear from you.  Contact us at