September 9, 2008 · Updated 2:29 PM
Heavy population density can and often does have a negative effect on the health of the deer population. When populations reach a certain level, the incidence of disease and parasitical infection increases, and dietary restrictions negatively affect size and health. As a result, growth potential is not fully realized. Many of us who are concerned about the wildlife on our islands have observed this to be true of our deer population. Proper herd management is the answer to the problem.
Hunters play a vital role in the management of the black-tailed deer herd.
By harvesting some of the offspring-producing animals each year, hunters help reduce the number of animals born the following year. This method is far more humane and productive than the less-desirable method employed by the driver of the 44-caliber Oldsmobile.
The latter method usually does not result in an instant and humane demise of the animal but rather requires the creature in question to wander off and die in pain. Car versus
deer always results in victory for the car. Though the 12-gauge Buick wins, the people involved incur financial loss, inconvenience and, at worst, physical trauma. The deer always dies, rarely is death instant, and often it is slow and agonizing.
How much property damage does our deer population cause each year? How many people have been injured in car-deer collisions? Wouldn’t it be interesting to discover the economic impact the deer herd has on the human population of our commumity? The economics the would be balanced with esthetic, natural and enviromental value, giving us a cost-benefit analysis.
Black-tailed deer are beautiful, expensive, dangerous and very good eating.
— This article was written by Phil Mahurin, a member of the Sportsmen’s Club. Deer hunting season began Sept. 1 and runs through Dec. 31 with different periods depending on the weapon used (archery, muzzle loader or modern firearm).