Published: Feb 09, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Feb 09, 2013 05:25 PM
So here we go again. The overpopulation of humans in the Triangle area are having issues with deer.
Too many vehicles (going too fast, and probably texting) are having collisions with the animals; gardens planted with deer delicacies are being decimated.
Never fear Rambo is here, coming to an urban neighborhood near you (Durham considers opening season on deer, DN, Feb. 3, 2012, bit.ly/XSM2Ly
In fact, bow hunting is dangerous and inhumane. Even the best bow hunter seldom kills the deer immediately. I recently witnessed a buck lying down in a yard in Chapel Hill with an arrow protruding form his left hind quarter. No telling how long before he would finally succumb to sepsis. He was in obvious pain.
Killing deer will not decrease deer-vehicle collisions. The Humane Society of the United States says: Deer-culling programs generate an endless succession of removal and replacement in which animals die unnecessarily while the root causes of problems go unaddressed. As long as attractive habitat remains, other deer from surrounding areas will move in to occupy the newly vacant niche resulting in a perpetual kill cycle.
There are highly effective methods of dealing with deer, including immunocontraceptives, reduced speed limits, fencing, deer repellent sprays (one made locally!), noise/sound/whistle devices, sprinkler or sound systems for gardens, and deer-resistant plants. I garden/landscape for a living and have had great success with using plants that deer find unappetizing, and deer spray.
It is important for us to understand that deer do not carry or spread Lyme disease. In fact, deer provide a buffer between the host (white-footed mouse) and humans by collecting the ticks on themselves.
According to John Rohm of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Reducing deer density by X will not = X percentage reduction in Lyme disease cases. ... Deer should not be blamed for the current Lyme disease situation. Integrated pest management would be more effective than focusing solely on deer.
One effective tick-control alternative is the 4-Poster Deer Feed Station developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, which can reduce tick populations by up to 77 percent, according to a new study.
Here is how it works: A deer feeds from a plastic feeding station. The design causes the deer to tilt its head toward the application rollers, ensuring that tickicide is transferred to its head, neck, and ears. Tick counts on Gibson Island, Md., showed treatment annually achieved at least 77 percent control of several tick species, compared to pretreatment years. The 4-Poster Deer Feed Stations may be the best alternative to traditional outdoor treatments for ticks, which require the application of pesticides across large areas.
Much of Duke Forest was recently closed to the public for deer-herd reduction. With Duke Forest being a research forest, it seems the ideal place/situation for deer contraception research. But instead, they hire bowhunters and close the area for three months.
The war on deer needs to be addressed more logically. If more citizens understood what was involved with bow hunting, I think they would be aghast. I urge you to watch this video: bit.ly/12tMmbc
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