It seems that there are some issues in my friend Carmi's area with our lovely odocoileus virginianus becoming over populated and causing some problems. It is a familiar situation.
Years back, in a local park, the deer population was out of control. Bambi and his mom were starving. The two and their cohorts had managed to decimate close to 350 species of flora and fauna below the browse line in the park.
Bambi was breeding with his sister and she was giving birth to babies with 3 legs and two heads. Bambi was playing in traffic and frequently he wasn't the only one who lost. In otherwords, bad things were happening because there were too many Bambis!
The decision was made to cull the herd. What?! Cried the people. Kill the deer for their own good. We shall do no such thing. That is not humane! (Forget they are animals not people). So started a litany of 'experiments' to reduce the deer population. Here are just a few:
Birth control injections: In a three year period the drug was administered 279 times. The deer herd grew from 190 to 347 deer. Uh....I got nothing here.
February 1993: one deer shot by sharpshooter. Media attacked the event with major errors in reporting and the public went MAD (as in crazy). Shooting was suspended.
1993-1994: 526 deer were relocated from 4 parks. Mortality rates were 19% to 79% for those deer. Dear me...not very humane.
In 1995 the decision was made to quietly reduce the population (at that time 450 head per square mile) with the help of sharp shooters. This plan was highly successful and very cost effective. The population was reduced to a much more humane 20 -40 deer per square mile. The venison was donated to a local food pantry (very humane) and the flora and fauna have been allowed to regenerate. Car/deer collisions in the area have been reduced significantly. The culling continues on a yearly basis.
I am all for the culling of Bambi and his extended family via a deer slug. It isn't that I am overly concerned for the disappearing vegetation, though I do love nature. And I don't spend alot of time worrying about Bambi's with two heads (there is always the freak show at the fair). I do hate to see an animal starve to death though, so shooting them certainly takes priority over that.
What I do feel very strongly about and sure you will understand, is this:
My daughter was driving this vehicle when a 10 point buck jumped in front of her. She never saw him coming. In her words, "he fell from the sky." The insurance company totaled this Oldsmobile Bravada.
When I saw the damage inflicted by that buck, I nearly vomited. I was brought to tears with the knowledge my beautiful child had walked away from this twisted, mangled mess.
She had never made the first payment, owning it only two weeks. You will never know how grateful I am it was this vehicle she was driving. For if she had been driving her previous owned car, a Saturn coupe, I am certain she would be dead.
So Carmi, an overpopulation of deer is a dangerous thing. All sarcasm aside, they are stunning creatures with a place in our ecosystem. But whenever something becomes unbalanced bad things happen. If mother nature cannot take care of her own, then it is up to us to help her.
Don't let what happened to my daughter happen to yours...you may not be as lucky.