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Mark

It's a shame, because they are beautiful animals. Unfortunately, around here we know what an overpopulation can do, and, in the absence of a predator population, there is no good way to control them other than killing some of them. Once the population is reduced to a reasonable level, maybe a contraceptive program would work.

Linkmeister

Introduce wolves to the park.

Adorable Girlfriend

AG now lives in this area. AG knows where the good sushi is.

Call. AG. Next time!

fidelio

It sounds horrible, but it's the sort of system that gave Malthus ideas, and letting them starve to death is even worse than shooting them.

I know some people who have worked in wildlife management, and they are usually in strong agreement that a large area free of any sort of predation (including humans) ends up with this problem if the deer are protected long enough. The difficulty with contraception is that this has to start early on, before the population has reached dangerously high levels, because it doesn't lower the population fast enough; also, you don't have a closed system--new deer will move in from the outside if there seems to be room for them.

Bambi, book and movie both, has not done much to enhance people's understanding of wildlife management problems.

Belvoir

Mixed feelings about culling. If winter starvation the is the "humane" justification for hunting..well how did deer get along for centuries before Columbus set sail? The native Americans hunted them too of course, but not with our lethal precision and technology (guns).

I'm not against hunting per se. On Eastern LI deer really can be a hazard for drivers, and farmers think them pests. We've got plenty of plants chewed to the nub by deer at night. Sometimes I wonder if deer culls are more for our convenience, rather than humane concern for the deer. I still find them a bit magical when I spot one, or a trio, galloping across my lawn.

Interesting/ghastly deer tale: a few winters ago, a mature buck deer with full antlers came trotting into the village shopping district in Southampton late one night. Saw his reflection in a plate-glass window of an antique shop, possibly thought it was another buck (deer aren't bright) crashed through it, then went buck-wild inside the shop, spraying blood and wrecking everything. Beastie had to be tracked down (blood trail) and shot. $70,000 worth of damage in the store, heard the proprietors had to go out of business, they weren't fully insured against such a freak occurrence.

bekabot

"Rabbits with long legs"

In Lake Erie lingo that's "rats with antlers"...

Lance

Belvoir: If winter starvation the is the "humane" justification for hunting..well how did deer get along for centuries before Columbus set sail?

Wolves.

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