Staten Island Borough President James Oddo posted a cell phone video this week of a deer on a friend's lawn. During the video, the deer flees the yard and seconds later is killed by a car.
The NYPD says 100 vehicle collisions with deer were reported on Staten Island last year.
Despite efforts to reduce their numbers, the deer population remains surprisingly high on the island. As a result, the borough president is trying again to prop up an old idea of his: allowing hunters to kill them.
"It's not an easy issue. It's not a pleasant issue. It's one of those issues that where people are passionate on both sides and I get dirty looks, about it, every time I talk about it. But it's my responsibility and I'm going to continue to talk about it," Oddo told NY1.
For three years, a city program has been giving deer vasectomies. Nearly 1,600 deer have been fixed and the deer population has gradually fallen to just under 1,800. That’s down 500 deer from 2,100, just as officials predicted.
But Oddo says an increase in Lyme disease cases and a reduction of vegetation show the deer population is not being reduced fast enough.
He's met with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to talk about allowing limited hunting.
"If we're allowed to do the cull ultimately on only-state owned property that there would be an impact. It would be effective. I don't want to put Staten Island through anything if, at the end of that process, we really aren't moving the needle," Oddo said.
City Hall opposes Oddo's idea because hunting is illegal in the city.
But the DEC says it is exploring whether to allow hunters using cross bows on state-owned land would make a dent in the deer population.
Residents we spoke with are divided.
One man said, "Something needs to be done."
Another woman told us, "Don't hurt them, don't disturb them, just let them be. And it’s their habitat too."
Oddo says he knows attempting an organized hunt wouldn’t have immediate results because the issue is all but certain to find its way to court.
But he says let that fight begin now before the deer wreak more havoc on Staten Island.