Deer Problems Create Social Problems
December 4, 2007
I have written and written about community after community trying to find ways to deal with overgrown populations of deer eating up the shrubs, the woods, spreading disease, causing property damage and at times personal injury or death. Most want to point a finger at just one person, group, set of circumstances or action to find blame. It’s not quite that simple but that doesn’t stop us from continuing our relentless assault on the issue.
There are more reasons than one can imagine why deer are living in our back yards. Most of those reasons are directly or indirectly associated with science. With science, responsible professionals can sit down and discuss ways that will affect the science in order to alter results. There is no such thing when it comes to dealing with irrational emotionalism in dealing with hunting. And for this we are all subject to the rants and raves and not so scientific reasoning of people who just don’t like to see any animal die.
Some wouldn’t agree but I can sympathize with people who feel that way. After all, life is life and I’m not so sure I would consider myself much of a person if I didn’t place some value on the life of anything, including snakes, poisonous insects and trees but that doesn’t mean I have to share every inch of my living space with them.
Back to the backyard deer problems. Those communities who have tried to deal with the deer problems, have tried several ways to combat it but most have had to resort to the hiring of “sharpshooters” to come in and systematically go about killing deer to achieve the desired results. Some people don’t like that.
You can search the Internet or newspapers and in hundreds, perhaps thousands of towns across America you will find editorials, rebuttals and thousands of articles opposed to or in support of the use of “sharpshooters” to deal with deer problems. I just wish some people would think a little bit before they decide to go to a public forum to express their outrage.
It is one thing when a member of the general public pens an editorial on an issue such as overcrowded deer populations but when a regular newspaper columnist writes about the issue, aren’t we inclined to expect something a big more? At least I used to.
Phillyburbs.com columnist Kate Fratti, whose column appears every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, wrote an article the other day about the deer problems in the town of Makefield. It’s full of the usual mumbo-jumbo about whether culling deer is necessary, etc. But then she asks a question.
But I wonder if those who press for the slaughter in the name of their children and grandchildren will take those little ones to view the heap of dead deer bodies and proudly proclaim they were partly responsible for it.
And if not, why not?
Is she serious? Are you telling me she doesn’t know the answer to this question? This is sensationalism at its ugly best. Let’s clear up an issue first and foremost. In deer culling operations, dead deer bodies aren’t piled up for public viewing. Fratti wants readers to paint a picture of “slaughtered” (her word not mine) deer stacked up in huge piles preparing to rot. In a previous sentence she again attempts to paint incorrect images by stating, “They don’t say how high the pile of dead deer carcasses will have to be to make them feel safe”, in reference to those who would like the deer numbers reduced for safety reasons. The last time I was at a deer slaughter, the stack of carcasses were 22 and a half feet and growing. (For those who are right now unsure, that was a joke)
But what can any of us expect from someone who can only see death and what they believe to be the needless killing of animals. Once again, I don’t have a problem with people who have issues with the killing of animals. I really don’t. They need only to be honest about it and say so. The rest of this emotionally charged sensationalism is ridiculous and dishonest.
Our society has trained us from day one not to think about Bessy the cow every time we order a Big Mac at MacDonald’s. This same society has impressed into our brains that deer have big long eyelashes, with tender, sweet voices and they talk to all their other forest friends while portraying the hunter as the big evil forest darkness.
I hate answering questions with a question but if Ms. Fratti has children or grandchildren, I’m assuming she would make an attempt to take her kid to see the dead deer? And while she’s out she might as well make a trip to the slaughterhouse and see all the beef carcasses piled up, along with sheep, chickens, turkeys, etc. Wouldn’t this be the same thing? And if she’s not going to do that, then I ask, why not?
But I get the biggest kick out of the “disclaimer” at the end of Fratti’s article.
Kate Fratti, whose column appears on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, confesses she felled a tree once to keep birds from pooping on her lawn furniture. It was a more gentle solution than blowing them out of the tree.
This is supposed to explain her behavior in dealing with unwanted birds? What about poor Tweedie Bird? And Heckle and Jekyl? But seriously, cutting down the tree is a more gentle solution? By this does she mean that if the “sharpshooters” used tranquilizer guns and first put the deer to sleep and then killed them, it would be alright? I don’t understand.
If somehow this is supposed to make Fratti a “humane” person with ideals that are better than mine or anyone else who advocates for hunting as a viable means of wildlife management, she’s got it all wrong. If the Pennsylvania Game Commission used Fratti’s reasoning then in any community with overgrown deer populations, all we have to do is move in with equipment and cut down all the trees, root up the soil and strip it of any vegetation and make sure nothing ever grows again. That way deer will go some place else and live, like she caused by cutting down her tree.
And so, I leave this rebuttal with a question for Kate Fratti. If you object to the killing of deer for the good of all wildlife and the ecosystems they live in, then do you not consider a tree as a living object?