Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deer Hunting in Washington D.C.

(image created by Mike Licht)

via Notions Capital we have this report about the problem of deer overpopulation in the Nation's Capital. The solution is the usual one, shoot them with bullets.

What's your opinion? Don't you think it's funny when hunters claim to be doing it for the good of the animals themselves? I always get a kick out of that one.

Please leave a comment.


  1. Well, it does beat having a car-deer collision.

    Although, it would make more sense for bow hunters than using firearms in a densely populated area such as DC.

    Would you prefer that the deer were hunted with hounds who shredded their prey once they got them?

  2. Plum Island, MA (a small barrier island that is part of Newburyport/Newbury, Ma and Ipswich, MA had a deer problem some years ago. The dear would summer on the island and winter on the mainland. The problem was that they were diseased (often becaue malnourishment compromised their immune systems) and they were vectors for Lyme's Disease because of the deer fleas that infested them.

    A lot of people wanted to hunt them but the state decided, in the interest of public safety, to have them culled by professionals. IIRC about fifty of them were taken in a week or so.

    Like you, I find that the "who will thihk of the deer?!" meme sorta unintentionally humorous. If they really wanted the deer to do well they'd re-introduce wolves who would manage the herds VERY well.

  3. Something has to keep the population at a level that the environment can sustain. If the population exceeds the bearing capacity, animals will start to starve, become ill, etc. And as Laci the Dog points out car-deer collisions are awful. I sat around and waited for an hour for a deer to die after a car hit it. I called it in to local law enforcement to euthanize the animal and make sure it wouldn't crawl into traffic again. But they never showed up. The deer was still alive and I wasn't dressed for the cold so I left. I came back four hours later and it had finally died.

    I don't know anything about the specific areas where anyone is proposing to hunt the deer. The fact that it is Washington D.C. alone makes it sound like using firearms would be a bad idea. I would think crossbows would be the answer in the hands of capable hunters hunting from elevated platforms. Put the hunter's feet 20 feet (6 meters) up in the air and the chance of a bolt (that's what we call the "arrow" that we shoot out of a crossbow) doing anyone harm is about nil. And a "hot" crossbow should be effective out to 50 yards. Even a modest crossbow would be good out to 40 yards.

    As "elegant" as deer might be, their population can roughly double every year without predation which can lead to lots of problems in a very short span of years. (For example a herd of two deer can become a herd of about 16 deer in just three years.) This problem and the question of what to do about it keeps coming up over and over throughout the U.S.

  4. Interesting factoid: more deer are killed by cars annually than by hunters. Keep that in mind when arguing against the need to thin the deer population.

  5. Not My Real Name said...

    Interesting factoid: more deer are killed by cars annually than by hunters.Keep that in mind when arguing against the need to thin the deer population.

    Yeah,when those deer are killed by cars they tend to do a lot of damage to the cars, and occasionally take the drivers with them.

    Not to mention that unless you have a really strange notion of tenderizing meat, it ruins the venison, and makes for lousy trophies.

    That other significant difference of course is that shooting deer is intentional and car deer killings are unintentional.

    So, yeah, if you use car accidents as a good reason for thinning out the urban deer, right on.

    You can't expect the urban coyote packs to do it all. And yes, that was a serious observation. Urban predators, like urban coyote packs are also a problem.

    Here in MN we also have the occasional urban bear intrusion and cougar as well.

  6. I didn't see anything in the story or links that said anything about bullets.

  7. Since the population of wolves and cougars is all but gone in many regions, what's left is human hunters and automobiles. I keep hearing reports about chronic wasting disease among deer, since their numbers are far too high for the land to support. Mikeb, hunting is a natural part of life, whether it's done by non-human predators or according to a wildlife department regulatory plan.

    Now, in the District of Columbia, I don't see how the ordinary citizens will be able to do much.

  8. I don't believe more deer are killed by cars than by hunters.

  9. "I don't believe more deer are killed by cars than by hunters."

    In Urban areas, I do not doubt it one bit. There are dead deer along the road every day and I know of several collision repair businesses that advertise daily on the radio and TV for deer strike specials.

    How long have you been gone Mike? Hunting pressure has decreased over the years. I do not know of any state that fills all of the deer that are selected for harvest each season.