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Re: Deer

Venison used to be served in homeless shelters in Wisc, but now that the mad
deer disease (?) was discovered last year, I dont know if that is still the
I don't eat things with bellybuttons, so I havent followed this too closely,
but I think thats the case.  I know that a certain breed of wolf (timber
wolf?) was reintroduced in northern wisc, I think partly to control the
herd. But I may be wrong, I dont live there anymore and have kind of lost
touch with it all.

-Peg in Va

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 7:59 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Deer

> I have never been a fan of hunting for pleasure - my brother (who
> hunts) and I have had many heated arguments about this over the
> years.  Hunting for sustenance is another matter, but I do not
> believe (despite arguments to the contrary) that people living in the
> eastern part of the US need to hunt to survive.
> However, where the white tailed deer are concerned, I've come to
> believe 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 takes
> quite a while for starvation to kill them), is not a pleasant sight
> and, if I were a deer, I'd prefer a quick death to that.  Hard years
> leave my local herd with ribs showing and signs of other diseases
> that have attacked them due to malnutrition...I've watched this for
> quite a number of years.  When wildlife get sick, they generally die
> and not quickly or painlessly, either.
> White tail deer do not migrate.  They stay in a relatively small
> range in the immediate vicinity of where they were born.  When herds
> become overpopulated (which they are throughout much of the US), they
> eat everything within their territory - they are totally denuding our
> forests of understory forbs and preventing the regrowth of tree
> saplings because they keep munching them down.  I've read several
> essays about the adverse affect they are having on native wildflower
> populations (Trillium, for example).
> When everything edible is gone, they starve; they won't migrate in
> search of food.  It's no wonder that they find suburban areas a good
> habitat as we gardeners keep planting plants that are very attractive
> to them and help sustain (and even encourage) herd size.  When they
> munch it to death, we go out and buy a replacement for them:-)
> (I wonder if there is some nefarious deal between large scale
> wholesale growers and deer to keep us buying plants?) ;->
> Deer have no natural predators in much of their range.  Although
> wolves and cougars are not a threat, deer keep reproducing as though
> they were still in danger of extinction - most does have twins each
> year, which, when large predators were around, helped ensure the
> existence of the species, but now just adds to the problem.  About
> the only predator they have left is man - either in the form of
> hunting or via the automobile.  Deer are constantly getting hit
> around here - drive the "back" roads around newly developing areas
> and there are bodies by the side of the road all the time.  The auto
> method of deer control is not only hard on the deer, it also costs a
> lot in vehicle repair and often manages to reduce the human
> population at the same time (not that this is, intrinsically, a bad
> idea)...
> Studies are ongoing on this problem, but it appears that trying to
> administer birth control drugs in any of the ways tried so far is not
> being effective.  Relocation does not work, either.  Deer panic when
> caught and confined to trucks or other vehicles and break legs,
> etc...besides, there aren't any places to relocate them - the
> population explosion has pretty well occupied every habitat that is
> suitable for them in the first place.
> So, _very reluctantly_, I've come to the conclusion that the only way
> to keep the populations under any control is to hunt them.  I think
> that controlled hunts, using only proven, experienced hunters are the
> way to do this.
> I don't think just extending deer season for all the yahoos out
> there, 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 "pleasure
> activity" but more akin to the historical handling of herds of
> domestic 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 been
> since time immemorial.   Not a pleasant thought, but a fact and
> that's how we ought to regard dealing with 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 to
> raise money for public park maintenance or given to the poor.  But,
> it appears that there's a disease, similar to mad cow disease, that
> is getting fairly prevalent in wild herds, so I doubt that would work
> too well.
> Oh, well, sorry to go on like this, but when I see the word 'deer' in
> a thread it sets me off and the word 'hunting' just pushed my bell:-)
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> mtalt@hort.net
> Editor:  Gardening in Shade
> -----------------------------------------------
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> ----------
> > From: Kitty Morrissy <kmrsy@earthlink.net>
> >
> > Zem,
> > I eat meat.  However, I have never understood the allure of
> hunting.  I
> > cannot grasp the thrill of the chase.  What is so great about
> hunting
> > something down and destroying its life?
> > Kitty
> > Last winter I had to kick my oldest and dearest friend out of my
> house when
> > she showed up with, not one, but 4 fur coats to show off to our
> group of
> > friends who were gathering at my house that night.  And she KNEW
> how I felt
> > about it.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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