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Re: Deer

 Marge:  Here in the part of Iowa I live in, we do have controlled deer hunts in addition to the regular hunting season.  Our county has in the past licensed sharpshooters to harvest a certain percentage of the total deer herd and the meat  has been processed and donated to the needy, sort of like the free cheese programs of the past...We have a pretty healthy population of deer in Iowa--we are one of the states where wasting disease has not decimated our herds.  Because we are such a rural state, with plenty of food sources for the deer herds, we have very large populations of them everywhere and you can always judge how out of control their population is getting by the increased numbers of carcasses along every highway.  I agree with you, that I would far rather people humanely harvest these creatures with a shotgun or a bow than to see them torn limb from limb by the semi's and automobiles that hit them.  Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."    
--Albert Einstein --- On Wed 12/11, Marge Talt < mtalt@hort.net > wrote:From: Marge Talt [mailto: mtalt@hort.net]To: gardenchat@hort.netDate: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 19:59:49 -0500Subject: Re: [CHAT] DeerI have never been a fan of hunting for pleasure - my brother (whohunts) and I have had many heated arguments about this over theyears.  Hunting for sustenance is another matter, but I do notbelieve (despite arguments to the contrary) that people living in theeastern part of the US need to hunt to survive.However, where the white tailed deer are concerned, I've come tobelieve that *controlled* hunts are the only way to reduce herd sizes- at least the most humane way.  Watching a deer starve over an extended period of time (and it takesquite a while for starvation to kill them), is not a pleasant sightand, if I were a deer, I'd prefer a quick death to that.  Hard yearsleave my local herd with ribs showing and signs of other diseasesthat have attacked them due to malnutrition...I've watched this forquite a number of years.  When wildlife get sick, they generally dieand not quickly or painlessly, either.White tail deer do not migrate.  They stay in a relatively smallrange in the immediate vicinity of where they were born.  When herdsbecome overpopulated (which they are throughout much of the US), theyeat everything within their territory - they are totally denuding ourforests of understory forbs and preventing the regrowth of treesaplings because they keep munching them down.  I've read severalessays about the adverse affect they are having on native wildflowerpopulations (Trillium, for example). When everything edible is gone, they starve; they won't migrate insearch of food.  It's no wonder that they find suburban areas a goodhabitat as we gardeners keep planting plants that are very attractiveto them and help sustain (and even encourage) herd size.  When theymunch it to death, we go out and buy a replacement for them:-)  (I wonder if there is some nefarious deal between large scalewholesale growers and deer to kee

p us buying plants?) ;->Deer have no natural predators in much of their range.  Althoughwolves and cougars are not a threat, deer keep reproducing as thoughthey were still in danger of extinction - most does have twins eachyear, which, when large predators were around, helped ensure theexistence of the species, but now just adds to the problem.  Aboutthe only predator they have left is man - either in the form ofhunting or via the automobile.  Deer are constantly getting hitaround here - drive the "back" roads around newly developing areasand there are bodies by the side of the road all the time.  The automethod of deer control is not only hard on the deer, it also costs alot in vehicle repair and often manages to reduce the humanpopulation at the same time (not that this is, intrinsically, a badidea)...Studies are ongoing on this problem, but it appears that trying toadminister birth control drugs in any of the ways tried so far is notbeing effective.  Relocation does not work, either.  Deer panic whencaught and confined to trucks or other vehicles and break legs,etc...besides, there aren't any places to relocate them - thepopulation explosion has pretty well occupied every habitat that issuitable for them in the first place.So, _very reluctantly_, I've come to the conclusion that the only wayto keep the populations under any control is to hunt them.  I thinkthat controlled hunts, using only proven, experienced hunters are theway to do this. I don't think just extending deer season for all the yahoos outthere, many of whom can't tell a horse or cow (or dog or other human)from a deer, is what should happen!  IMO, it's not a "pleasureactivity" but more akin to the historical handling of herds ofdomestic animals (cattle, sheep, chickens, etc.) raised for food.  We moderns may choose to be oblivious to how we get our hamburger,but controlled slaughtering of animals a fact of life and has beensince time immemorial.   Not a pleasant thought, but a fact andthat's how we ought to regard dealing w

ith the overpopulation of deer(boy..if this doesn't start a brouhaha.....)I used to think that the resulting meat ought to be either sold toraise money for public park maintenance or given to the poor.  But,it appears that there's a disease, similar to mad cow disease, thatis getting fairly prevalent in wild herds, so I doubt that would worktoo well.  Oh, well, sorry to go on like this, but when I see the word 'deer' ina thread it sets me off and the word 'hunting' just pushed my bell:-)Marge Talt, zone 7 Marylandmtalt@hort.netEditor:  Gardening in Shade-----------------------------------------------Current Article: Wild, Wonderful Aroids Part 3 - Amorphophallushttp://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/shade_gardening------------------------------------------------Complete Index of Articles by Category and Datehttp://mtalt.hort.net/article-index.html------------------------------------------------All Suite101.com garden topics :http://www.suite101.com/topics.cfm/635----------> From: Kitty Morrissy <kmrsy@earthlink.net>> > Zem,> I eat meat.  However, I have never understood the allure ofhunting.  I> cannot grasp the thrill of the chase.  What is so great abouthunting> something down and destroying its life?> Kitty> Last winter I had to kick my oldest and dearest friend out of myhouse when> she showed up with, not one, but 4 fur coats to show off to ourgroup of> friends who were gathering at my house that night.  And she KNEWhow I felt> about it.---------------------------------------------------------------------To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with themessage text UNSUBSCRIBE GARDENCHAT

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