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-   -   Bowhunting deer: Panel proposal for nature (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/natural-areas/497-bowhunting-deer-panel-proposal-nature.html)

Staff 01-06-2009 01:33 PM

Bowhunting deer: Panel proposal for nature
Bowhunting deer: Panel proposal for nature
By Greg Clary
The Journal News • January 6, 2009

The region's record-high deer population is damaging forests and hurting the health of the animals themselves, according to a new Westchester County study.

So, what's the best way to bring the deer population under control?
More hunting on public land to reduce their numbers, the three-year analysis concludes.

"We don't want to eliminate the deer, but we want them to be a complementary part of the system," said County Executive Andrew Spano, who set up the 20-person panel. "People have to see the damage that is being done by the deer and that this is a necessity, not only for the deer-human interactions, but for the whole bio-system."

In some locations, sampling counts show deer herds are six or seven times as high as experts say is healthy for the animals.

The number of deer must be quickly and significantly lowered, according to the volunteer task force of environment and wildlife experts and municipal officials who conducted the study. The panel recommends expanding recreational bow-and-arrow hunting as the cheapest way to accomplish that goal.

Read more at the above link.

doccat5 01-06-2009 04:12 PM

That makes good sense, especially if the hunters donate part of their kill to the local food banks. The deer will be healthier for this type of management.

biigblueyes 01-06-2009 04:41 PM

A hunter's group in my area has a Hunters for the Hungry food drive every fall - asking hunters to clean out their freezer, with the food going to local soup kitchens. They collected 6,000 pounds of meat this year. Three tons of meat!

doccat5 01-06-2009 04:42 PM

Everybody wins, including the deer.

Sage 01-06-2009 04:57 PM

:( I love nature and wildlife and find it sad that we can't peacefully co-exist with the local animals who are trying their best to stay alive. Instead we insist on getting rid of them so they don't get in our way.

Our local town board already has a disgusting "bait and shoot" program and just proposed catching the deer, moving them to pens and raising them to kill. Thankfully, there was a public outcry and the DEC shot down that idea.

We keep developing more of the land which forces local wildlife into smaller and smaller areas, and then claim they shouldn't even be allowed to live in those smaller patches. Then we think we are the superior species. :(

Doesn't nature adjust with lower birth rates to coincide with available resources?

I thought this forum was created to encourage use of land in a way that would be a positive for wildlife.........

Stoloniferous 01-06-2009 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by Sage (Post 4125)
Doesn't nature adjust with lower birth rates to coincide with available resources?

I'm afraid nature adjusts by keeping populations down with starvation, predation, and disease.

TheLorax 01-06-2009 07:48 PM

Some good observations Stoloniferous.

Deer populations are out of control, that's for sure. Many states are culling the deer because of the population explosions that are threatening public health. Unfortunately, my particular County has a "no discharge" law on the books so there is no culling going on here. Even more unfortunate for counties where it is lawful to discharge is that members of an organization called PETA are herding deer onto private property where the state biologists can't shoot them. What our state does have is a fine for anyone who feeds deer, it's $1,000. Most people don't know about the law as I can see salt licks and corn cribs peppering backyards. I wish people we're aware of how serious the issues were but the controversies associated with culling deer are sort of like the controversies with stem cell research... everyone is against it until something happens to them. That being said, it would be good for all of us if deer herds could be brought down to the numbers they were at around the year 1900. Even better if people would stop encouraging them to congregate unnaturally by artificially feeding them as this encourages the spread of disease. There are other serious issues associated with the exploding deer populations.

Very brief recap of some of the issues associated with the exploding deer populations discussed here for anyone interested in understanding the scope and magnitude of the concerns facing all of us-

Good ecological overview of the situation if one scrolls down a little bit at this site-

The actual article referred to was written by Eric Ness and was titled 'Oh Deer'. It's still out there available to be read probably at the Discovery site. It was written in 2003. Deer populations have increased since the article was written and considerably more research has been made available documenting the issues but the 'Oh Deer' article really sums it all up quite nicely for those who don't want to read through hundreds of pages of documents.

JennyC 01-06-2009 10:41 PM

Controlling the deer population has become necessary to protect whole ecosystems in some places, such as Red Top Mountain State Park in Georgia. Large wild areas can be destroyed by deer, and while habitat loss can be part of the equation, the larger part is loss of the big predators. Until and unless we can put those back to eat the deer, we have to do the culling.

Prairiefreak 01-06-2009 10:44 PM

Stoloniferous...we have eliminated almost all the natural predators for deer. The top predator for deer in my area is the automobile. While I'd be okay with having cougars and bobcats and wolves around, most people would not. Something about "they're picking off my pets and toddlers."

If ya kept your toddlers and pets indoors, where they belong...no problem.

Sage, when you eliminate all the predators for deer, there will be a population explosion of deer, and the only remaining controls on their population are cars, starvation, and disease. Deer in my area completely destroy the understory and ground layer of plants in natural areas. They need to be thinned out. I don't have a problem with culling deer, with the meat being donated to food pantries.

Equilibrium 01-07-2009 12:51 AM

Unfortunately nature doesn’t always respond the way we’d like it to respond particularly when we humans repeatedly compromise entire ecosystems with our reckless behavior. In the case of the deer, the opposite of what was suggested is occurring. We're not seeing just twins any longer but triplets and even quadruplets. http://chicagowildernessmag.org/issues/fall2003/deerdilemma.html

Currently, it is stated deer take a greater toll on human life than the sum total of rattlesnakes, bears, sharks, and alligators and that’s without Proteinaceous infectious particles replicating to that which could be transmissible to humans. We’re talking about a prion here. Deer are the natural hosts. It isn’t a given that the species barrier will protect us from animal prion diseases. “Conversion of human prion protein by CWD-associated prions has been demonstrated in an in vitro cell-free experiment.” Looks as if somebody out there jumped the species barrier in a lab. This, is the stuff of nightmares. So I ask those who start posts that condemn those who attempt to educate and inform us to try hard to be tolerant of members who do risk posting comments that may be viewed as distasteful… it’s really about all of our children and our children’s children to some of us.

I very much want deer numbers reduced to that which can sustain their own health and ours and am always saddened when a Dept of Natural Resources or Conservation buckles to public outcry. For every action there is a reaction. We all make choices in our daily lives. For every choice there generally exists a reasonably foreseeable consequence. That DEC chose poorly when it shot down that program.

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