December 6, 2019

Capitalism Front And Center

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Americans may be the world’s best inventors, creators of new business, and developers of ways to cash in when an opportunity presents itself. An example of that was when it became big business to create a T-shirt emblematic of an event or a person, etc. At times we as a society have questioned some entrepreneurial enterprises but nonetheless Americans will find a way to make money.

It is no secret that in many places across this great nation, deer are becoming a problem. This is evidenced in news report after news report of cities, towns and communities striving to find ways of controlling deer populations within the town’s limits. These overcrowding situations of too many deer and too many humans can pose some serious consequences and problems – starvation, disease and auto/deer collisions, to name a few.

Many different methods have been tried to address this problem and any and all methods have met with a certain amount of opposition from various groups and individuals. Often times a town finds itself faced with hiring sharpshooters to thin the herd. Although it is proven time and again that hunting deer is the most effective and least costly method of deer population management, there are occasions where hunting isn’t an option.

Much of the problem the local officials and wildlife scientists face in attempting to deal with this issue comes from the citizens who might oppose killing of animals. Some studies indicate that the majority of city residents prefer non-lethal means of dealing with deer populations. While I respect their opinions on how they think things should be done, too often these are based on lack of information and knowledge about science or even the best and proper way of living with the deer in their backyards.

Enter the Quality Deer Management Association. I knew sooner or later someone would find a way to cash in on this problem. Please don’t get me wrong. I am a firm believer in free enterprise and cringe sometimes when certain exploitations push the envelope of sanity. This venture by the QDMA is far from that, although I’m sure others will not agree.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, QDMA has devised an education packet to be used in schools all across the country to teach our youngsters how to live with deer.

The Quality Deer Management Association plans to make available within the next month or so an education package titled “Living with White-Tailed Deer.” It consists of three DVDs and a lot of printable information. It’s meant to be used in high school civics, social studies and science classrooms.

The program, which meets National Education Standards, sets up a scenario in which a community park is faced with having too many deer. Students divide up into six groups — hunters, animal rights activists, biologists, homeowners, park officials and township officials — and spend three to five days coming up a solution to the problem.

Sounds simple enough but you can bet your bottom dollar that someone, no names mentioned, is going to raise a stir. According to the same article, when the program was piloted at several locations around the country, students were asked before and after about how they felt about killing deer as part of the methods.

The program was piloted at several schools around the country. When students were asked before going through the exercise how they might solve the deer problem, about 70 percent supported non-lethal means of control.

Afterwards, about 70 supported killing at least some deer, either with hunters or sharpshooters, Murphy said.

“Ultimately, I think this is going to make them far more accepting of hunting than they might have been otherwise,” he said.

For me, if through education we can get more people to understand the science and necessity of good deer management and that process increases the support for hunting to accomplish the tasks, I’m all for it. How long is it going to take for the opposition to put on their battle gear?

Tom Remington

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