rainbowgardener wrote:I was with you til the very end when you got to hunting. I agree we have a deer population problem, because they don't have natural predators (like coyotes and wolves) any more. However hunting works the opposite of natural selection. Natural predators get the elderly, weak, sick, runty members of the herd. Hunters go for the magnificant 4 point buck. By picking off the strongest, healthiest members of the population while they are in their prime, they weaken the species... We need other ways of controlling the population or strict limits on the size of the deer you can kill.
Some slightly valid points with regard to predators taking the old and sick animals from the herd, but also some very invalid points that are most likely brought about from not knowing any hunters I'm guessing?
Alot of people that I come in contact with are unfamiliar with hunting, and the overall benefits that it provides to wildlife. What is unfortunate is that today's hunters are portraied as nothing more than trophy hunters who are out for, as you mentioned above, the magnificant 4 point buck. This is simply very far from the truth.
Here in Ohio, as with many states across the continental U.S., the whitetail deer population is exploding. In fact, there are more deer today in the U.S., than there were when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. So what's the solution? In my experience...... education. The individual states manage the game within their borders through their respective Division of Wildlife Offices. Frankly, we need more education about our wild resources, and wildlife management practices, so that topics like hunting are better understood.
I can only really speak for Ohio, since that's where I live, but our DOW regulations for deer are quite liberal when it comes to reducing the herd size. You can't do that by only pursueing those magnificant 4 point bucks
, instead antlerless deer limits are expanded. For instance, in the 2008 - 2009 hunting season, a hunter could only kill one Buck, but had the opportunities to kill up to 6 antlerless deer. The proposed antlerless limit is being expanded even further for the 2009 -2010 regulations, especially in the Urban zones (these are designated units in and around Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown where human deer conlicts continue to rise), however hunters will still only be able to kill one Buck.
The point being, that public awareness and education are key to understanding these ever increasing wildlife issues we all face. Is hunting the end all answer to the deer damage dilema? Nope, but it certainly plays a big role.
Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread!!