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NY Town Opts to Use Birth Control Drugs, Not Hunting, to Reduce Deer Numbers

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July 08, 2013

NY Town Opts to Use Birth Control Drugs, Not Hunting, to Reduce Deer Numbers

By Ben Romans

Hastings-on-Hudson, a small New York town north of the Bronx border, plans to begin controlling the community’s growing deer problem with a nontraditional strategy—birth control.
 
A New York Times article says the town has decided to work with Tuft’s University’s Center for Animals and Public Policy to become the first suburb in the U.S. to control deer through a process called immunocontraception, which uses the animal’s immune system to prevent it from fertilizing offspring.
 
The center's director, Dr. Allen T. Rutberg, says the core area — approximately two square miles in size — contains 70 to 120 deer when it should hold 5 to 15. He hopes to enlist the help of resident volunteers from time to time. The project already has an estimated cost of $30,000 for the first two years. Animal rights groups have donated $12,000 to the effort.
 
“Hastings will be challenging,” Rutberg said. “From a research perspective, islands make good subjects because you have some control over what goes on there. But if we really want to see if it will work in contexts where it matters, then we need more open communities, and Hastings will be the first one. The success of the project will depend at least as much on the deer as on us.”
 
Regarded by some to be a progressive town, Hastings’ Mayor Peter Swiderski, other town leaders, and a majority of residents vehemently denounced more conventional methods like hunting and netting (and then dispatching animals with a captive bolt like those used in slaughterhouses) to quell deer numbers.
 
“Deer have entered our backyards and essentially become unruly guests,” Rutberg said. “We are bound by suburban rules in dealing with them, and violence is not how we deal with neighbors we don’t like.”

CC image from Flickr

Comments (28)

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from weswes088 wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

The NYT title for the article is "A Kinder, Gentler Way to Thin the Deer Herd." There's no thinning going on here, contraception will just prevent more from being born. Vehicle collisions will take a few out, but that's about all the mortality these suburban areas see. It's going to take a long long time for deer numbers to get down to 5-15/sq mile. I give them credit for putting their money where their mouth is and actually going through with this - so many people in these situations are against controlled hunts or culls, but balk once they see the price tag for contraception. I wish them luck, but I just don't see it working.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buriti wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

These people should read the very well written book "Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds" by Jim Sterba.

Mr. Sterba describes in rather dispassionate and non-partisan terms how these novel and alternative wildlife management approaches in general fail in a big way, and in the end either hunting or culling are the only practical alternatives that work.

As for the emotional and bigoted way that Mr. Rutberg compares deer and people, I would call that rather brainless.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MR AWESOME wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Stupid it will take for ever. Put a extremely regulated archery season for the area giving out more doe tags than buck tags.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MR AWESOME wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Stupid it will take for ever. Put a extremely regulated archery season for the area giving out more doe tags than buck tags.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

hunting is a natural part of human history and of this world. humans hunt the deer, elk, grouse just as the coyote, wolf, and fox do. its called life and all things will die.

using birth control to control animal populations is un-natural and is playing God with our natrual resources and wildlife.

i wonder how many homeless people in New York would have benefited from the donated venison that these urban deer herds could have provided?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

I wish them the best of luck with their deer problem and their ignorance towards the use of hunting as a conservation tool. The term "violence" used in the article was a dead give-a-way these people apply human traits to animals. A sure sign this human has progressed into a fantasy world.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Hastings is NOT the first place to have ever tried immunocontraception. It has been tried in numerous other places in the US, and has been studied extensively (go ahead...run it through Google Scholar). Immunocontraception does not work in 100% of the animals treated. Also, animals need to be retreated from time to time, which means they need to be recaptured (and anybody who has hunted or has worked with deer knows that they become educated...you can fool them once, but it gets harder to fool them a 2nd time and damn near impossible to fool them a 3rd time). Third...if the goal is to reduce the deer herd, how are you going to do that without killing any deer? Without hunting in the system, the #1 cause of death for adult deer is vehicle collisions. In over-populated herds (such as the one described), starvation is also a major player. Death by predators is rare, especially in suburbs, and death by disease or old age is also rare. It might just be me, but waiting for deer to get hit by cars and starve to death doesn't sound like a responsible management plan.

I read the NY times article, and this guy claims that immunocontraception reduced a deer herd by 50% over 5 years time on an island (i.e. no emmigration (deer moving in from other areas) and no sanctuaries for deer to retreat to when a capture effort is taking place). There is an opportunity for NYSDEC to collect some good deer movement data here and learn what deer do in suburban areas in response to capture efforts. In other words...they need to invest in some GPS collars to document this upcoming failure! :-)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from blevenson wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

ah yes, the animal lovers of Tufts are going to help curb the deer population. Good luck. New York should preserve their hunting heritage and mandate an intensive harvest hunt for this area. This is just another indirect assault on the hunting community. There idea is not going to look nearly as good in action as it does on paper.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I admit my ignorance on this issue. But it seems to me the town is overstepping its bounds, so to speak. These deer do not below to them. They belong to the people of the "great" state of New York. As such they should not be allowed to capture and then inject them with drugs, to then roam free about the rest of the state. Are these deer that are being injected with the drugs safe for consumption? Seems to me a lot of wasted effort and money when a nice shiny bullet, costing even at todays prices at less then $2 a pop (pun intended) we could solve their problem with $2000 worth of ammo. Just saying...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Ferris wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

New York you are not god, issue more doe tags and extend archery season, and have a youth hunt more often, and also give free nuisance tags: this will also help our hunting traditions continue to the younger generations ... it will also help the success rate of children graduating high school and going to college, its a proven fact that kids that hunt and fish and go camping are less likely to get in trouble and have a better chance of graduate high school and continue on to college.... I would also like to know if those drugs are non-harmful to us hunters that eat what we harvest each an every year, and if there is any long or short term side affects... oh, but wait N.Y. won't respond because they are gonna do what they want to do any way.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I'm curious to see how effective this effort turns out to be. It could work. Or it could fail spectacularly.

As far as lethal methods, the captive-bolt approach is certainly unpalatable from a public relations perspective and I can't see any politician agreeing to it. The uproar would simply be overwhelming.

Archery is a good option in heavily populated areas, at least from a safety perspective. However, the risk of a dying deer breathing its last in some suburban driveway, or under the kids' swingset is more than some folks can manage.

But the more I read of this case and others like it, the more I wonder where the air gun guys are. There are some very capable, high-powered air rifles available that are relatively quiet, short-range, and deadly accurate. The Benjamin Rogue .357, the Marauder .25, and a slew of others from .38 to .54 caliber are available. You never seem to hear of this as a possible solution. Why not?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I'm of the opinion that if you think keeping animals, who are driven mainly by the imperative to procreate and raise young, under control by keeping that from happening you might also think hobbling them so they can't dart in front of cars is humane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I'm of the opinion that if you think keeping animals, who are driven mainly by the imperative to procreate and raise young, under control by keeping that from happening you might also think hobbling them so they can't dart in front of cars is humane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric E. Dolecki wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Silly and Unnatural.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Mullen wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

SO the animal rights people only came up with 12k? LOL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Island_Time wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

This is exactly why I am all for state rights. If these "crunchy-granola" hippies prefer to use methods other than hunting to implement population control, it is their right. That being said, I see shortcomings in this study/project. 1) Funding: A city tax will most likely be added to funding can not be reached. 2) Administering dosages: It does not seem they have a sound method to track what females have/have not been treated. 3) Age dynamic: By reducing the number of younger deer (limited reproduction) they will inevitably invert the population pyramid and create an unhealthy heard of older deer. There is a major difference in eliminating the population and managing a healthy population. This technique seems to be best for a controlled (fenced/island) environment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Emotional article to say the least. But before I weighed in I visited Google Earth. What you will see is a Town bordered by the Hudson River with home plots maybe 60' by a 100' or 100' by 100' at most on curving streets surrounding a few small wooded plots. Playing the Devils Advocate throwing a football might result in a broken window much less shooting an arrow. This is not wide open spaces!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

yeah that makes sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Bioguy, you are correct, worked with some folk down here in a Reproductive Biology Lab here in TX that were working on it and were also going to use it on elephants in Africa.
Not cost effective strickly from reapplication, funding ran out real fast here but in NY I can see it not working for years once the public has to pay for it.
A huge work force being created though taxation and then hunters being called racists for having an answer ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sd Deatherage wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Forrest Gump's momma was absolutely correct about people who want to limit the deer population w/o harvesting any of the deer: "Stupid is as Stupid does!" Ron White's favorites: "You just can't fix stupid!"

Trapping and relocating will also NOT work! Just ask the people of Town & Country, Missouri a St. Louis suburb. A few years back they talked the MO Dept of Conservation (who predicted the results before the experiment) into trapping and relocating 100 whitetails. They radio collared the animals when they were released. Approximately 97/100 died of starvation and/or shock because they were relocated.

Since then the city employed "sharpshooters" whom MDC authorized to break the state's spotlighting and deer baiting laws to remove more of the herd at a cost of ..... drumroll please almost $400 per deer. Total taxpayer dollars spent, over $40,000.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from indianafarmer wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Mohegan Island off the coast of Maine was so overrun with deer they would just stand and let you walk by a few feet away. Severe outbreaks of lime disease finally drove people to make a decision. After going for a short walk you would have to pick numerous deer ticks off your clothing. After several spirited town meetings a speaker that was infected with lime disease spoke to the Islands residents. The person told of the disabling effects of lime disease and the cost of treatment that ran into the tens of thousands of dollars, which was paid by the US Government, as the person was a Federal employee. The Island decided to hire sharpshooters to rid the Island of the antlered vermin.
Problem solved. Was it a perfect solution, maybe not for everyone, but it was a effective one that solved the problem.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

I bet they try it on Feral Hogs next...Ha ha ha ha

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 40 weeks 3 days ago

Wait are these deer Catholics??? If they are it might be infringing on their constutional rights. I mean you know deer can be very religious... and we wouldn't want to interfere with their religion, especially right before the season opens. That way when we shoot them they can be at peace with themselves and God.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Erik Jensen wrote 40 weeks 3 days ago

As someone concerned with fighting poverty, I have to say the town is callous to poor people.

Here in MN, the few suburbs that don't allow bowhunting by archers who have passed a shooting test hire sharpshooters who use silenced slug guns to cull deer in city and county parks, and the meat is donated to food shelves.

The sharpshooters are paid $250 for each deer they shoot, and a deer's meat is worth at least that much. I really want to hunt some of these areas, but the sharpshooter program is a essentially a donation of healthy meat to people who need it while protecting suburban forestry and bird life, so I really can't argue with it. It's a hell of a lot more progressive than what this supposedly progressive suburb of New York is doing. My understanding from the statements the MN DNR has made regarding the issue is that deer treated with this birth control stuff are not edible, ever.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

That's the nice thing about opinions. Everyone has one and there usually influenced by their experience and geographic location. Humor aside a visit to Google Earth might be in order. After that I would be very interested in what would be a viable solution to their problem. Bows and Arrows, Suppressed Weapons have been suggested. But if you would have to have the Deer line up in front of the Hudson River for a safe backdrop, even with Frangible Rounds. I have seen Petting Zoos that are more open. With the proximity to houses. I would suggest a hand full of peanuts and a sharp knife for a successful hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

Here in the county I live it, which is rural but with expanding pockets of densely populated suburbs, we can legally bowhunt 50 yrds from a building without resident permission. We can legally bowhunt within those 50 yrds with permission. Now I am not pro staff archer, but if you are in an elivated stand and shooting at a downward angle you minimize the ability for a miss to go flying off. Any reasonable archer or hunter for that matter, knows to make sure what is behind their target before they shoot. Seems to me this can be done in a safe manner, but it is turning in to a NIMBY issue. I can say if I lived there, with all the lymes disease spreading because of deer ticks, I would be shooting them out of my bedroom window to protect my family.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

smccadell; It's true shooting into the dirty is probably the safest way to go. But if you Google the location and your 50 yards away from one building's property your standing on another persons property or a baseball field or tennis court. So I see what these people are up against. As far as Lyme's Disease. That just one of those hysterical things that gets into the news when it's a slow day. The real problem in New York is the lack of natural predators and all the cultivated and developed land. There is an explosion of the Deer population. I have heard the population has growen by 20 times in the last 100 years. Thank God we don't have the Hog problem, Tornado's or Floods that the Southern and Western States are dealing with. This is nothing more than a tempest in a tea pot. All these Deer are probably doing is eating some old ladies $200 Ornamental Red Maple. She went to a town meeting and it got on the news. Some Desk Jockey had to come up with an idea till it all goes away.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robertou812 wrote 40 weeks 1 day ago

Just wait till the local community finds out that the contraceptive licks can be ground up and smoked like crack.
They will have a whole new invasive species.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Bioguy01 wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Hastings is NOT the first place to have ever tried immunocontraception. It has been tried in numerous other places in the US, and has been studied extensively (go ahead...run it through Google Scholar). Immunocontraception does not work in 100% of the animals treated. Also, animals need to be retreated from time to time, which means they need to be recaptured (and anybody who has hunted or has worked with deer knows that they become educated...you can fool them once, but it gets harder to fool them a 2nd time and damn near impossible to fool them a 3rd time). Third...if the goal is to reduce the deer herd, how are you going to do that without killing any deer? Without hunting in the system, the #1 cause of death for adult deer is vehicle collisions. In over-populated herds (such as the one described), starvation is also a major player. Death by predators is rare, especially in suburbs, and death by disease or old age is also rare. It might just be me, but waiting for deer to get hit by cars and starve to death doesn't sound like a responsible management plan.

I read the NY times article, and this guy claims that immunocontraception reduced a deer herd by 50% over 5 years time on an island (i.e. no emmigration (deer moving in from other areas) and no sanctuaries for deer to retreat to when a capture effort is taking place). There is an opportunity for NYSDEC to collect some good deer movement data here and learn what deer do in suburban areas in response to capture efforts. In other words...they need to invest in some GPS collars to document this upcoming failure! :-)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

The NYT title for the article is "A Kinder, Gentler Way to Thin the Deer Herd." There's no thinning going on here, contraception will just prevent more from being born. Vehicle collisions will take a few out, but that's about all the mortality these suburban areas see. It's going to take a long long time for deer numbers to get down to 5-15/sq mile. I give them credit for putting their money where their mouth is and actually going through with this - so many people in these situations are against controlled hunts or culls, but balk once they see the price tag for contraception. I wish them luck, but I just don't see it working.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

hunting is a natural part of human history and of this world. humans hunt the deer, elk, grouse just as the coyote, wolf, and fox do. its called life and all things will die.

using birth control to control animal populations is un-natural and is playing God with our natrual resources and wildlife.

i wonder how many homeless people in New York would have benefited from the donated venison that these urban deer herds could have provided?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I admit my ignorance on this issue. But it seems to me the town is overstepping its bounds, so to speak. These deer do not below to them. They belong to the people of the "great" state of New York. As such they should not be allowed to capture and then inject them with drugs, to then roam free about the rest of the state. Are these deer that are being injected with the drugs safe for consumption? Seems to me a lot of wasted effort and money when a nice shiny bullet, costing even at todays prices at less then $2 a pop (pun intended) we could solve their problem with $2000 worth of ammo. Just saying...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buriti wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

These people should read the very well written book "Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds" by Jim Sterba.

Mr. Sterba describes in rather dispassionate and non-partisan terms how these novel and alternative wildlife management approaches in general fail in a big way, and in the end either hunting or culling are the only practical alternatives that work.

As for the emotional and bigoted way that Mr. Rutberg compares deer and people, I would call that rather brainless.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MR AWESOME wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Stupid it will take for ever. Put a extremely regulated archery season for the area giving out more doe tags than buck tags.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MR AWESOME wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Stupid it will take for ever. Put a extremely regulated archery season for the area giving out more doe tags than buck tags.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Ferris wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

New York you are not god, issue more doe tags and extend archery season, and have a youth hunt more often, and also give free nuisance tags: this will also help our hunting traditions continue to the younger generations ... it will also help the success rate of children graduating high school and going to college, its a proven fact that kids that hunt and fish and go camping are less likely to get in trouble and have a better chance of graduate high school and continue on to college.... I would also like to know if those drugs are non-harmful to us hunters that eat what we harvest each an every year, and if there is any long or short term side affects... oh, but wait N.Y. won't respond because they are gonna do what they want to do any way.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I'm curious to see how effective this effort turns out to be. It could work. Or it could fail spectacularly.

As far as lethal methods, the captive-bolt approach is certainly unpalatable from a public relations perspective and I can't see any politician agreeing to it. The uproar would simply be overwhelming.

Archery is a good option in heavily populated areas, at least from a safety perspective. However, the risk of a dying deer breathing its last in some suburban driveway, or under the kids' swingset is more than some folks can manage.

But the more I read of this case and others like it, the more I wonder where the air gun guys are. There are some very capable, high-powered air rifles available that are relatively quiet, short-range, and deadly accurate. The Benjamin Rogue .357, the Marauder .25, and a slew of others from .38 to .54 caliber are available. You never seem to hear of this as a possible solution. Why not?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric E. Dolecki wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Silly and Unnatural.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from indianafarmer wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Mohegan Island off the coast of Maine was so overrun with deer they would just stand and let you walk by a few feet away. Severe outbreaks of lime disease finally drove people to make a decision. After going for a short walk you would have to pick numerous deer ticks off your clothing. After several spirited town meetings a speaker that was infected with lime disease spoke to the Islands residents. The person told of the disabling effects of lime disease and the cost of treatment that ran into the tens of thousands of dollars, which was paid by the US Government, as the person was a Federal employee. The Island decided to hire sharpshooters to rid the Island of the antlered vermin.
Problem solved. Was it a perfect solution, maybe not for everyone, but it was a effective one that solved the problem.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Erik Jensen wrote 40 weeks 3 days ago

As someone concerned with fighting poverty, I have to say the town is callous to poor people.

Here in MN, the few suburbs that don't allow bowhunting by archers who have passed a shooting test hire sharpshooters who use silenced slug guns to cull deer in city and county parks, and the meat is donated to food shelves.

The sharpshooters are paid $250 for each deer they shoot, and a deer's meat is worth at least that much. I really want to hunt some of these areas, but the sharpshooter program is a essentially a donation of healthy meat to people who need it while protecting suburban forestry and bird life, so I really can't argue with it. It's a hell of a lot more progressive than what this supposedly progressive suburb of New York is doing. My understanding from the statements the MN DNR has made regarding the issue is that deer treated with this birth control stuff are not edible, ever.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

I wish them the best of luck with their deer problem and their ignorance towards the use of hunting as a conservation tool. The term "violence" used in the article was a dead give-a-way these people apply human traits to animals. A sure sign this human has progressed into a fantasy world.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blevenson wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

ah yes, the animal lovers of Tufts are going to help curb the deer population. Good luck. New York should preserve their hunting heritage and mandate an intensive harvest hunt for this area. This is just another indirect assault on the hunting community. There idea is not going to look nearly as good in action as it does on paper.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I'm of the opinion that if you think keeping animals, who are driven mainly by the imperative to procreate and raise young, under control by keeping that from happening you might also think hobbling them so they can't dart in front of cars is humane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

I'm of the opinion that if you think keeping animals, who are driven mainly by the imperative to procreate and raise young, under control by keeping that from happening you might also think hobbling them so they can't dart in front of cars is humane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Mullen wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

SO the animal rights people only came up with 12k? LOL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Island_Time wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

This is exactly why I am all for state rights. If these "crunchy-granola" hippies prefer to use methods other than hunting to implement population control, it is their right. That being said, I see shortcomings in this study/project. 1) Funding: A city tax will most likely be added to funding can not be reached. 2) Administering dosages: It does not seem they have a sound method to track what females have/have not been treated. 3) Age dynamic: By reducing the number of younger deer (limited reproduction) they will inevitably invert the population pyramid and create an unhealthy heard of older deer. There is a major difference in eliminating the population and managing a healthy population. This technique seems to be best for a controlled (fenced/island) environment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Emotional article to say the least. But before I weighed in I visited Google Earth. What you will see is a Town bordered by the Hudson River with home plots maybe 60' by a 100' or 100' by 100' at most on curving streets surrounding a few small wooded plots. Playing the Devils Advocate throwing a football might result in a broken window much less shooting an arrow. This is not wide open spaces!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

yeah that makes sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Bioguy, you are correct, worked with some folk down here in a Reproductive Biology Lab here in TX that were working on it and were also going to use it on elephants in Africa.
Not cost effective strickly from reapplication, funding ran out real fast here but in NY I can see it not working for years once the public has to pay for it.
A huge work force being created though taxation and then hunters being called racists for having an answer ?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sd Deatherage wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Forrest Gump's momma was absolutely correct about people who want to limit the deer population w/o harvesting any of the deer: "Stupid is as Stupid does!" Ron White's favorites: "You just can't fix stupid!"

Trapping and relocating will also NOT work! Just ask the people of Town & Country, Missouri a St. Louis suburb. A few years back they talked the MO Dept of Conservation (who predicted the results before the experiment) into trapping and relocating 100 whitetails. They radio collared the animals when they were released. Approximately 97/100 died of starvation and/or shock because they were relocated.

Since then the city employed "sharpshooters" whom MDC authorized to break the state's spotlighting and deer baiting laws to remove more of the herd at a cost of ..... drumroll please almost $400 per deer. Total taxpayer dollars spent, over $40,000.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

I bet they try it on Feral Hogs next...Ha ha ha ha

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 40 weeks 3 days ago

Wait are these deer Catholics??? If they are it might be infringing on their constutional rights. I mean you know deer can be very religious... and we wouldn't want to interfere with their religion, especially right before the season opens. That way when we shoot them they can be at peace with themselves and God.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

That's the nice thing about opinions. Everyone has one and there usually influenced by their experience and geographic location. Humor aside a visit to Google Earth might be in order. After that I would be very interested in what would be a viable solution to their problem. Bows and Arrows, Suppressed Weapons have been suggested. But if you would have to have the Deer line up in front of the Hudson River for a safe backdrop, even with Frangible Rounds. I have seen Petting Zoos that are more open. With the proximity to houses. I would suggest a hand full of peanuts and a sharp knife for a successful hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

Here in the county I live it, which is rural but with expanding pockets of densely populated suburbs, we can legally bowhunt 50 yrds from a building without resident permission. We can legally bowhunt within those 50 yrds with permission. Now I am not pro staff archer, but if you are in an elivated stand and shooting at a downward angle you minimize the ability for a miss to go flying off. Any reasonable archer or hunter for that matter, knows to make sure what is behind their target before they shoot. Seems to me this can be done in a safe manner, but it is turning in to a NIMBY issue. I can say if I lived there, with all the lymes disease spreading because of deer ticks, I would be shooting them out of my bedroom window to protect my family.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

smccadell; It's true shooting into the dirty is probably the safest way to go. But if you Google the location and your 50 yards away from one building's property your standing on another persons property or a baseball field or tennis court. So I see what these people are up against. As far as Lyme's Disease. That just one of those hysterical things that gets into the news when it's a slow day. The real problem in New York is the lack of natural predators and all the cultivated and developed land. There is an explosion of the Deer population. I have heard the population has growen by 20 times in the last 100 years. Thank God we don't have the Hog problem, Tornado's or Floods that the Southern and Western States are dealing with. This is nothing more than a tempest in a tea pot. All these Deer are probably doing is eating some old ladies $200 Ornamental Red Maple. She went to a town meeting and it got on the news. Some Desk Jockey had to come up with an idea till it all goes away.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robertou812 wrote 40 weeks 1 day ago

Just wait till the local community finds out that the contraceptive licks can be ground up and smoked like crack.
They will have a whole new invasive species.

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