September 22, 2020

Deer Pests? Time Marches On

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Follow this link to an article to read at Field and Stream about how Time Magazine(behind pay wall) published an article about the overgrown populations of deer.

There are some locations around the country where deer are a “pest” and for various reasons. Some people don’t like running into them with their automobiles, while others get angry over deer eating their expensive shrubbery around their houses. In addition, too many deer often spells trouble with diseases like Lyme disease.

I’m not really opposed to any of the author’s suggestions as to what hunters could do to alleviate this “pest problem,” but I would like to comment on a couple of issues that I’m not quite so excited about and would like to offer a bit of a reality check.

First the author seems agog over the fact that Time Magazine actually published an article on deer and did it, “Fairly and thoroughly reported,” and that, “hunting is indeed the most effective, cheap, and humane method for dealing with critters when they become pests.”

I wouldn’t be so quick as to give Time Magazine (a creation of Henry R. Luce) accolades for anything that might appear to be in support of hunting, i.e. American heritage, freedoms, or North American Model for Wildlife Management. It’s just not in their blood (literally). The author seems convinced that, at least in this one article, Time is patting hunters on the back for the work that is done in the management of wild game. While it may be true that Time appears to be patting us on the back with one hand, it’s what they are doing with the other hand that is of the utmost concern. My recommendation is to take the article for what it’s worth and do not believe Time is on our side, ever.

In addition, if Time is now sending out kudos to the hunting community for a job well done, then why would the author exclaim that hunting is the preferred method of wildlife population control “when they become pests?” The historic reputation of the North American Model is that ongoing management, including the harvesting of game, prevents animals like deer from becoming pests. Ignorant environmentalists, spoon fed from birth about balance of nature, believe if man left these creatures alone they would create their own population controls and balancing. So, how is that working out? The question then must become why are all these places now faced with what to do about nuisance wildlife that wouldn’t have been a nuisance had the people and local governments allowed and provided for the proper management of these wild animals?

Sorry, I don’t buy a hunting license in order to become a pest control man.

A second issue talked about in this article is about the author challenging the hunters to do their part and step up to the plate to do something about too many deer, as if too many deer where the responsibility, or the lack thereof, of hunters. In my years of writing about these problems, where town after town struggles to find ways of dealing with “pest” deer, it is my impression that hunters would be more than eager to step up to the plate and do the right thing (chuckling here a bit) and kill deer. But the hunter is not allowed to. That’s the reason the deer are a pest now. How difficult is that to grasp hold of?

I’ll not debate all the reasons why the hunter has been banned from “doing the right thing”, but to think that the solution is as easy as getting enough hunters to kill a bunch of pests, is a bit naive and reflects lack of education as to the facts and history of dealing with overgrown populations of game species.

In the vast majority of those towns that decide deer need to be killed, they hire “sharpshooters”, not necessarily hunters because don’t you see, those who are at most at fault for allowing deer to become pests, hate the hunter, much because they are an icon of American Heritage; something that once made America great. Whether they like the “sharpshooter” is irrelevant because the anti humans who hate the hunters will do anything except employ the talents and experience of hunters to do the job, probably at no charge, other than being allowed to take home a deer or two. This is spiteful hatred on their part.

Get rid of the ridiculous bans on hunting in many of these areas, and tell the landowners who bar hunters from accessing their lands to shut up and stop complaining about too many deer, disease and auto collisions. If they want the problem solved, let the hunters come on their land and do it. As a landowner you can pick and choose who you will and will not allow to hunt your land.

But not to get away from the topic at hand, hunters didn’t create this pest problem, but if regulations and anti hunting/environmentalists would cease with their hatred of proven and humane wildlife management, many of these problems would go away or better yet, would never have occurred……and with little cost.

It isn’t just a matter of whether the hunters will take responsibility. It’s whether government, dictated to by environmentalists, will allow hunters to take responsibility. Why not ask those responsible for the problem what they are going to do about it?

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