The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Community News Network

February 19, 2013

'Squirrel Slam' leaves town up in arms

HOLLEY, N.Y. — An event that went largely unnoticed in this small western New York village for years, drew  a much different response this year when a crowd showed up to protest the 7th annual “Squirrel Slam.”

The yearly Holley Fire Department fundraiser is much like a summertime fishing derby, but with red and gray squirrels instead of carp and catfish as the target. Some saw it as harmless fun,  but others viewed it as a killing contest.

Perhaps spurred by a social media campaign, calls began flooding into  the local fire department. Some simply complained about the activity, others offered veiled threats, organizers said.

While hunters took to the fields and wooded areas not far from Lake Ontario, opponents of the event massed in Holley’s public square last weekend to rail against the contest. Authorities said 28 law enforcement officials from at least five agencies were on hand to maintain peace.

In recent weeks groups like Friends of Animals, Animal Advocates of Western New York and Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York had tried to prevent the event from happening.

“This has gone on for too long,” New York Friends of Animals Director Edita Birnkrandt said. “People here were outraged, It’s happening right in their backyard.”

The response didn’t faze the fire department, which proceeded with the event as planned.

“They can call us whatever they want,” Event Chairperson Tina Reed said. “I’m proud of what we have here.”

At $10 each, all of the 1,000 tickets sold out -- 400 more than last year.  The fire department uses proceeds from the Squirrel Slam to purchase equipment not covered under its budget.

“We’ve never had this happen before — it’s a zoo,” Holley Police Chief William Murphy said.

The fury over the event brought out villagers who sat on both sides of the issue, many who said they’ve never noticed the occasion in past years. Bonnie Fleischauer, who lives four blocks from the fire hall, said she thought the postings from her friends were a joke.

“I’ve supported the fire department, they’re a good group of guys ... always helping people,” said Feischauer, an avid animal photographer and former wildlife rehabilitator, who spoke from the main protesting area. “This is so in opposition to what they represent the other 364 days of the year.”

Across the street, supporters of the event said the negative attention had pulled together the small village and the larger hunting community.

One man who watched from an area that later became the base of the pro-event counter-protesters, said,  “I’m not a hunter, but I support the fire department ... (opponents) tried to implicate this as giving guns to kids. That upset me. This is all done to the letter of the law.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulates hunting for small game animals like squirrels, rabbits and raccoons. In all areas north of New York City, a licensed hunter can take up to six gray, black and fox squirrels from sunrise to sunset each day from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28. Red squirrels are unprotected and can be hunted at any time without limit.

---

Details for this stoy were provided by Jim Krencik, a reporter for The Medina (N.Y.) Journal-Register.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Graduation Salutes
Seasonal Content