What Our Readers Think: Controlling Deer Populations

A roundup of reader comments.

On Thursday, Patch published an article about the Department of Environmental Conservation expanding 15-year-old deer hunting boundaries in an effort to control Suffolk County's deer population.

Patch readers had a lot to say on the subject both in support and in opposition. The following is a round-up of their comments. Feel free to continue the conversation by logging into to Patch and posting your thoughts in the comment section below.

Jerry Can said, "I do hope they have a successful season as the roads have become too dangerous recently with deer's crossing. It's also a cruel way for them to die on the side of a road."

PATRIOT said the "DEC should be thanked for common sense decision in this problem. Time to break out the Bonac recipe book."

Peconic Sunset wrote, "Slow down drivers, the deer will be erratic as the hunters run them ragged."

27 EAST added, "Who says the deer are over populated? I thought last year they eradicated most of the deer in Hampton Bays. Why can't we coexist with their territory?"

And on Facebook, Bob Goida said, "They were here first — get rid of the humans — bring back their natural predators — Oh & definitely get rid of the 'hunters' — unless they use their bare hands, it isn't fair."

Lee Jackson responded, "or... capture them and ship them off to some nation that's short on food."

Now it's your turn. Post your thoughts below.

Ralebird January 09, 2013 at 04:43 AM
So, we're apt to see you in an extra large sized deerstalker had trudging through the woods vaccinating deer for the next few years? What of the pain and suffering the overabundance of deer causes the human population?
Peconic Sunset January 09, 2013 at 05:58 AM
Let the animals, including the deer, live their lives. Humans are not in a position to know if there are too many or not enough deer.
Steve Zach January 09, 2013 at 07:54 AM
What about introducing male Mule Deer in the area. They can breed with the Whitetail deer (which we have here) and often produce a sterile hybrid offspring. The average deer lives 4 to 8 years on long island. If they are sterile the population of deer will thin out over time. The hybrid will produce a larger breed more appealing to the hunter, Mule Deer and Whitetail coexist out west and dont compete secondary to large open area to roam. When conditions are tight, the males of any breed will compete to breed with either species of deer. Mule Deer are larger (althought not always as aggressive) then Whitetail Deer so they may be a domanint breed giving the circumstance. It will be relatively inexpensive to transport male Mule deer to densly populated Whitetail areas and possible a more "humane" method to control the deer population....just something to ponder. Steve
highhatsize January 09, 2013 at 07:23 PM
to ralebird: The concept is appealing but would be inefficient. I suggest equipping experienced hunters with appropriate air guns and darts and awarding them a bounty of $100 for every doe that they can prove to have vaccinated. After all, it is REALLY the thrill of the hunt they are after; they don't REALLY enjoy killing those big brown-eyed gentle creatures, do they?
Preliator January 09, 2013 at 07:45 PM
You really like telling people what they can and can not do.
highhatsize January 09, 2013 at 10:45 PM
to Preliator: Quote: "You really like telling people what they can and can not do." - - - Especially when they behave abominably in my backyard. Deer hunters have the entire remainder of the country in which to pursue their "hobby". Let them do so in those communities where residents welcome needless bloodletting. On the other hand, if they want to enjoy familial, arboreal "bonding" and hunting without bloodshed, they are welcome to come here and participate in the vaccination program.
Preliator January 09, 2013 at 11:10 PM
You must have a very big backyard.
Bonac Refugee January 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Hey High Hat My son and I are headed out hunting tomarrow.Sure you don't want to join us!!You are welcome.Veggie burgers for lunch.
Bonac Refugee January 10, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Oh and by the way GonaCon is not approved for use in NY State.It also can't be used in a dart,the deer must be captured and injected by hand.Good luck with that!!
Peconic Sunset January 10, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Not sure about your assumptions Steve. Couldn't the mule deer brought to LI breed with other mule deer? They would not be sterile.
highhatsize January 10, 2013 at 04:39 AM
to Bonac Refugee: One can only hope that your wife's genes are prepotent or that your son is so repulsed by your behavior that he resolves never to emulate you. GonaCon is new, approved by the EPA only in 2011. Its use has already been authorized by both New Jersey and Connecticut. Teething obstacles due to its novelty will quickly be streamlined, and the cost will plummet, as its use becomes common. This is THE answer for communities such as ours whose residents abhor blood sports. We are, after all, at the end of an island whose mainland connections are urban. The local population of deer is static without intrusion or increase from the mainland, a perfect cohort for a birth control program that could light the way for the rest of the country. The argument that killing is the only practical solution is superannuated.
Steve Zach January 10, 2013 at 07:20 AM
The only deer on LI that arent in zoos are Whitetail Deer. Thats why they should only introduce male Mule deer.
Preliator January 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Oh wow, the thesaurus is on fire this morning. Do you actually own a thesaurus or is it an app you use? Anyways, well done.
Jaguar-Guy January 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Hat, are you Vegan ?? If not, that is stunned murdered cow you are eating. And poultry, forget it, take a look at that industry and you would become Vegan. Please do not attack a person for doing some legal (regulated and licensed) hunting that does, in fact, cull the herds and lowers population - populations that become dangerous to humans when they over-run areas. Your condemning tone is reminiscent of MB, so you may want to dial that back some. Until someone invents that better "mouse trap" (GonaCon), legalizes and then implements it, and then outlaws bows as inhumane (just because you are a life-long "Fancy-Boy Dandy" and too old to experience it) doesn't make it wrong today who have done this for generations.
Preliator January 10, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Hush Jag, don't you know when progressive/liberal muckity-mucks tell you to change you have to change.
highhatsize January 10, 2013 at 05:58 PM
to Jaguar-Guy: Vegetarian, not Vegan. MB? - - - Milton Berle? Mel Brooks? Marlon Brando? MICHELE BACHMANN?
Jaguar-Guy January 10, 2013 at 06:41 PM
It becomes tiresome when people who have never experienced things (that are long-standing traditions, sporting related and completely and utterly legal) try to explain exactly to those who do participate, just how horrific the things people have done for generations is so so bad for society and "must be stopped". It is all idiotic-theory with absolutely no practical experience.
Mary Beth January 10, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I think he is referring to me, highhat. He talks of "condemning tone" and then goes on and calls you a "fancy-boy dandy" and old! Jag, I must admit, I am a bit freaked out by the fact that you are clearly spending way too much time thinking of me. I am sorry, but you are not my type. I like men who possess intelligence and humor and who understand that "size matters" is not a reference to your shotgun. I think preliator is a much more appropriate match for you.
highhatsize January 10, 2013 at 07:53 PM
to Jaguar-Guy: I am perfectly content for the long-standing, sporting tradition of hunting to continue in utter legality but for substituting darting the deer to killing them. Paleohomo sapiens argue that they have been hunting and killing animals for generations and that they should, therefore, be permitted to continue. This mentality defines neotenic members of our species. For the sake of creating a compassionate community, they must be encouraged to join the evolution.
Preliator January 10, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Easy there MB, you'll be getting Mrs. Preliator upset then we'll have worry about her shotgun. All kidding aside, hunting is a perfectly acceptable activity, some groups harvest thousands of pounds of meat for food pantries and provide aide to those in need.
Jaguar-Guy January 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Hat, are you "Darting" to hunt, or are you Darting to sterilize ?? Hunters will not want to hunt to dart and release (your agenda) - and darting to sterilize will render traditional hunting moot. Oh, and I love the tickle at the end that everyone has to evolve to meet your criteria.
Bonac Refugee January 11, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I like you High Hat you're funny.You use these big words that I might take as insults but since i went to Bonac Tech I don't know what they mean so they go right over my head.You missed a good day hunting yesterday, good friends and family hunting together.We enjoyed a nice barbecued lunch together and yes there really were a couple of veggie burgers on the grill.Oh well maybee next time!! Back to GonaCon.I serious doubt it will get New York approval but if it does I doubt it will do what you're looking for.First even it's manufactuer doesn't think it will replace hunting.Second is the delivery,currently the deer has to be captured at an estimated cost of $500-$1000 per deer.Whos picking up the tab?? Even if a dart system is developed the darters would face the same problem us hunters face now.You can't go on private property to shoot the deer.Oral vacinations won't be allowed because of the possibilty of non vectors getting the vacine.Then there is the whole subject of other animals ingesting roadkill and there by getting the vacine.Can't have those endangered species not able to reproduce.GonaCon has a long uphill battle before it ever replaces hunting.See you in the woods!!
Gail Simons January 11, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Deer fencing is as much of a problem as anything. It forces deer into smaller and smaller habitats & forces them into the roads. Sure, deer are over-populated if you consider that their natural habitat has been severely cut. Make it so that we co-exist with nature and "nature" won't be so much of a problem!!!
highhatsize January 11, 2013 at 07:06 PM
to Jaguar-Guy: You mean that it IS the killing that hunters enjoy rather than the intellectual challenge of the pursuit or the intergenerational, arboreal bonding? I am shocked!! To Bonac Refugee: Thanks, Bonac Refugee. I am confident that my telling arguments will persuade you, eventually, to beat your rifles into plowshares.
Jaguar-Guy January 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM
You kill it, you eat it. You again (not surprisingly) preach about something of which you know nothing. Now, go back to your needlepoint Nancy, it's hunting season.
highhatsize January 11, 2013 at 10:36 PM
to Jaguar-Guy: Nancy? Nancy! Puh-leeze! Did your creative juices dry up after "Fancy-Boy Dandy?"
Bonac Refugee January 11, 2013 at 11:48 PM
High Hat You are welcome to continue with the "telling arguments".For my part the offer I made stands.I make you the same offer I make all prospective new hunters.I will loan you a flintlock rifle,field dress your first deer and for you I will make sure my buddy brings a couple of extra veggie burgers for lunch.You will need to take a hunter safety course first though.The state offers it for free just contact the DEC.
joe hampton January 12, 2013 at 01:59 AM
yes gail we have herd it before , There is a thing called property rights ever hard of them? I have the right to put up a fence and plant esthetically pleasing trees, I do not wish to look at haunted sticks in my yard.I have 5 acres and not a deer anywhere in sight. My fence works great. It cost a fortune but I do not want to make it any easier to get Lyme disease and I love my landscaping. It also stops the nosy mushroom collectors and snoopy over paid code inspectors from trying to look in my yard.
Karesse Grenier January 21, 2013 at 02:39 AM
I am electing to put a deer fence around the vegetable garden and be diligent about deer ticks as best as possible. Part of the reason ticks are such a problem is because the winters have not been cold enough to kill them from year to year. Climate change...and humans are responsible for that ...NOT deer.
Jeremy Goncalves March 24, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Go home tree hugger


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