The Maine coastal town of Bar Harbor, adjacent to Acadia National Park, is proposing a one-time deer hunting season in order to reduce the deer population. According to the article, collisions with cars has increased two and a half times since 2000 and the incidence of Lyme disease has gone up four times what it was five years ago. But, with no hunting season, I thought, according to human haters like the Humane Society of the United States, nature is always in balance and man should butt out and let animals do what they are going to do. So why a seeming increase in deer population?
Without spending a great deal of time looking at all the possibilities, I wonder if any of the considerations have to do with an increase, and a continuing increase, in the black bear population and a very large and hungry coyotes/wolf hybrid population throughout the Pine Tree State?
In examining historic documents, such as Early Maine Wildlife by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, we learn that when Maine once had a thriving wolf population, and no coyotes, the deer migrated to the coast of Maine and in particular inhabited the many islands near the coast. The reason being that vicious predators drove the deer in search of safe havens.
Now, with vicious predators growing at substantial rates each year, like bears and wolf/coyote hybrids, perhaps more and more deer are being squeezed from inland locations to coastal areas. However, I would be willing to wager a great sum of money that such a scenario is not even considered in any discussions that might involve the hows and whys of too many deer on Acadia.
So much for balance of nature……but don’t go look.