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The Way Things Were By Anne Weaver

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - Updated: 8:39 AM

ABOUT THE WEEK OF APRIL 17, 1964, at a gathering of "Reile for Senator" supporters at Hamilton County, Donald J. Reile, Herkimer, candidate for the 41st Senatorial District, gave the following address: "God made heaven, the earth, man and animals. In each He breathed a certain kind of life and vitality. To needlessly kill an animal is sinful. Yet within recent months we have learned of the needless and cruel slaughter of deer in our North Country.

"It does no good to belabor a point. But the initial dodging of responsibility by state authorities was ridiculous. The squirming and fancy excuses that the killing was justified for scientific and experimental reasons were hogwash. And the final apology was inadequate to wipe out the sin.

"The theory behind Conservation is that certain God-given creatures deserve to be preserved for the advantage, pleasure, and enjoyment of all the people. What the Conservation Department did in the [Moose River] Plains was cruel and asinine. There was no excuse for killing the large number of deer.

"There was no rhyme or reason why the carcasses were permitted to 'adorn' the snow-clad mountains. There was no distinction between doe, buck or fawn. If a private citizen perpetrated the same crime, he would be perished. Our public servants deserve no better treatment than ordinary law-abiding citizens.

"It is inconceivable to me why our elected representatives in Albany have remained so mute during this outrageous episode. You may rest assured that if I get to Albany, they will have plenty of action from me if anything like this ever occurs again."

At HAMILTON COUNTY, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, irritated by the state Conservation Department, demanded that a "constant 30-day deer hunting season" be established. The board adopted a resolution to this effect at a regular meeting in Lake Pleasant.

At the same time it recommended that the law enforcement branch of the Conservation Department have its own deputy commissioner. It further suggested the elimination of party deer hunting permits.

John Heffernan of Wells, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said the resolution was adopted because "we don't feel that we should have to go through the malarkey of a change in the big game season every year." He pointed out there had been 10 different opening dates set in the past 15 years.

Heffernan also said the board was "very upset" at the failure of state Conservation Commissioner Harold Wilm to acknowledge a telegram sent him. The telegram relayed the board's resolution.

Heffernan said the commissioner had "ignored us completely concerning a resolution adopted March 2 protesting the slaughter of 52 deer in the Moose River Plains in February. The board also disputed the claim of Conservation Department biologists that the deer herd is so large that it was about to be depleted by starvation.

"There has been a deer herd for 1,000 years in the Moose River Valley and it has had its ups and downs," Heffernan said. Meanwhile, it was reported that Governor Nelson Rockefeller had asked for a full report on the deer slaughter.

Town of Manheim Supervisor Harold Luther, Herkimer County, who had been in the forefront of the criticism of the Conservation Department, said he had been told that he would be called to Albany for a conference. "We're willing to show our facts to the department, that the herd is nowhere as large as the biologists claim," Heffernan reported.

He said the biologists' count was not accurate and was based on an "adjusted" figure reached after reports from deer checking stations were received. Luther introduced the resolution to the Herkimer County Board of Supervisors, asking that the Conservation Department's powers be curbed because of the deer slaughter.

Luther, who was chairman of the DEC Region 4 Fish and Wildlife Management Board, said the governor's interest was relayed to him in a letter from Alexander Aldrich, an assistant to the governor.

County Clerk Earl C. Farber had announced the sale of Conservation Department licenses in Hamilton County for March as follows: Resident -- 4 Hunt and Fish; 17 Fish; 16 Trap; Non-Resident -- 1 LLC.

The Appellate Division of NYS Supreme Court had ruled that the commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles had the legal right to order the caption "World's Fair" on 1964 license plates. The ruling stated that the inscription was "a matter of public concern, for the public good and for the general welfare of the state."

It further pointed out that the World's Fair, although private, was totally non-profit. The unanimous decision directed the commissioner to issue plates without the World's Fair caption to anyone who applied for them.

As a result of this decision, it became illegal to cover the caption "World's Fair" on 1964 registration plates.

Everyone was invited to attend the annual meeting of the Hamilton County Health Association Inc. held at Long View Lodge in Long Lake. "Strokes" was the topic of the program, to be followed by a turkey dinner. A brief annual meeting was also slated. Reservations for the dinner were made either with one of the representatives of the Health Association or with Mrs. Lila Tefft, executive secretary, Speculator.

For the year 1964, the stocking of some of the vicinity ponds including the species of fish follows. Legend includes ST, Speckled Trout; BT, Brown Trout; RT, Rainbow Trout; LT, Lake Trout.

Beaver Meadow Brook, ST, BT; Big Brook, BT, ST; Blue Mt. Lake, ST, LT; Brandreth Lake Outlet, ST; Brown's Tract Inlet, ST; Bug Lake, ST, RT; Cedar River, BT; Clear Pond, ST; Cold Stream,ST; Crotched Pond, ST; Lake Eaton, LT; Eighth Lake, LT, ST, RT; First Lake, RT; High Pond, ST; Indian Lake, ST, LT; Indian River, BT; Limekiln Lake, RT, ST; Little Moose Pond, ST; Lower Sargent Pond, ST; Marion River, RT; Pelcher Pond, ST; Lake Pleasant, RT; Queer Lake, ST; Raquette Lake, LT, ST; Seventh Lake, ST, Splake; Sly Pond, ST; Slim Pond, ST; Sixth Lake, ST; Spruce Lake, ST; Tirrell Pond, ST; and West Canada Lake, ST.

     

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