Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Hooved-Rat Stalker


Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis is one of the largest city parks in the United States -- 5,300 acres of trees, lakes, paths and...deer.

Too many deer. They're eating the underbrush clear; they're nibbling on saplings and eying the larger trees. And they are wandering onto roads and endangering drivers.

The answer, of course, is a controlled hunt. It's what our State Parks do when the problem arises, as it does with some regularity. Nevertheless, the city is expecting some protest from witlings who cannot figure out that we are the sole remaining predator of deer (give or take a very ambitious bobcat -- and even the non-ambitious ones are vanishingly scarce here). Lacking predators, deer will breed themselves into starvation; it's what they do. The time to control them is before they leap through the windshield of your car, trying to get across the road to polish off someone's flowerbed.

(Indiana does generally get it -- there's even an "urban deer season!")

Is it mean of me to hope local media will have a camera at the public hearing, so I can watch teary-eyed fools pleading for the poor innocent widdle baby-waby deers? Look, they're real cute but they're not even as clever as goats, and we've got too many of them for even their own good. (Deer, I mean; bleeding hearts, too, but there's no hunting them and no use trying to make them any smarter than goats, either.)


og said...

One of my hunting companions is in charge of (Among other things) deer herd reduction in City Parks in (A large Ohio City where Hamfests are held). Everyone was agin the hunts, until some of their very expensive landscaping started getting browsed down to the nubbins. And then they wanted to hire teams of snipers to KILL THEM ALL!!!!

The reduction takes place at night with night vision equipment using a repurposed Brinks van. Carcases are GPS tagged and picked and taken to a butcher, and are served at the local food banks. The resultant population is extremely healthy. And now they are focusing on Canada goose. The residents no longer pay any attention to the most diehard petards now.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

People who think deer are cute little Bambi-like things apparently never ran into one on the road.

Oh, deer.

fillyjonk said...

When I lived in Illinois, I saw exactly the same attitudes from the "city folk" who had moved down into the more rural area where I lived.

They even went as far as to suggest birth control for the deer (difficult to do unless they are penned in a zoo) or catching and "rehoming" them (who would take them? Not to mention, it's probably more cruel to transport a deer to a strange territory where it may fight with the native deer, than it is for it to have a clean quick death at the hands of someone who will probably wind up using the meat).

Where I live now? My students are amazed at the attitudes of those folks when I tell them about them.

Panamared said...

It is my understanding that, more people are killed by deer every year, than are killed by animals generally considered to be predators. If that were general knowledge, fewer people would be so concerned about killing Bambi, not to mention that if you could ever get them to try, properly cooked venison, you might have a problem keeping any deer population at all.

For all of the vegetarians, look at your teeth. They are designed for both meat and vegetables.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Up here on the NorthCoast, we have a lot of those Bambi Lovers. So the preferred weapon of choice near Cleveland for Herd Thinning seems to be an '89 Buick.

Funny thing though. When one suggests to the Animal Rights/PETA/ELF Sympathizers that to regain the Ecological Balance that Mother Gaia intended, the only "Natural Thing" would be to bring back the Wolves, they seem to get all a tizzy.

Strange how those kinds of people don't seem to "get it" that the Animal Kingdom doesn't give a darn about Vegetarianism.

karrde said...

I've seen one such Bambi-lover trying to get attention at a County Party convention. (What was I doin' there? Long story...)

I looked at the pictures of 'horrible things done to Bambi', and tried to engage her in conversation. Hopefully in a way designed to keep her from talking too much to others at the event.

She thought her goals were noble. I thought she was a little foolish. Because she didn't realize the options were (a) hunt Bambi with untrained drivers in automobiles, (b) bring wolves into the suburban region, or (c) bring in hunters.

Option (c) is better if the hunters are professional cullers, or freelancers who have been filtered to keep Cletus-and-friends out.

But deer are a problem. And they like suburbia, as long as they can find places to drink. Because there's lots of shrubs, and no wolves.

Stretch said...

Local military post culled their deer by a special hunt. Senior NCOs with scoped rifles supplied the local food banks with fresh meat for weeks. MPs reported a 75% drop in deer/car collisions. Base hospital had no injury calls attributable to remaining collisions.

As for the damn Canadian geese ...

perlhaqr said...

Funny thing though. When one suggests to the Animal Rights/PETA/ELF Sympathizers that to regain the Ecological Balance that Mother Gaia intended, the only "Natural Thing" would be to bring back the Wolves, they seem to get all a tizzy.

I dunno where you're at, but there are plenty of folks around here who are all for that idea, too. And not for deer control in particular either, but rather just because (as their bumper stickers say) "Wolves Belong".



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Douglas2 said...

Og -

Having seen deer damage to cars, I can understand the need for a re-purposed Brinks armored van.

But wouldn't it be easier and less messy to use firearms?

og said...

The van partially processes them. Less grinding reuired.

Actually, when I say "Night vision equipment" i mean "night vision equipped rifle with silencer"

jdunmyer said...

My wife was a victim of a deer, cause the insurance company to total her car. There was fortunately no damage to her.

Also fortunately, there is little [public] anti-hunting sentiment here in SE Michigan.

Ken O said...

Here in Texas, the venison vermin are so plentiful that the state has authorized suppressor use for all hunters who possess them.