Question of the Day: Shoot or Sterilize?

"Jim McGlone of the Virginia Department of Forestry transports the bodies of the deer. Sometimes, government-sponsored programs will donate the meat from deer kills to a food charity in an attempt to increase public acceptance of the culling." (caption and photo courtesy washingtonpost.com)

“As the District and its highly populated suburbs grapple with controlling their deer populations, Fairfax City is planning a new approach: Tranquilize and capture all the female deer in the city, take them to a surgical table and remove their ovaries to keep them from reproducing,” washingtonpost.com reports. “If the city receives clearance from the state’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, officials said, it will be the first jurisdiction in Virginia to try the surgical sterilization approach.” Yeah, well, how about shooting them instead? Here’s an article the WaPo prepared earlier on that very subject . . .

Early next year, if all goes according to plan, six cops armed with high-powered rifles will take up positions inside Cabin John Regional Park and begin killing the sweetest looking of creatures: white-tailed deer.

The park sits seven miles northwest of the District, on the edges of Bethesda and Potomac — not exactly hot spots of hunting culture.

“They can’t get here fast enough,” said Ty Tydings, an area resident who ran over a deer last year, has had to slow down to avoid four more this year and is tired of seeing his shrubs get eaten. “Everyone is pretty sick of deer.”

Tydings’s views underscore a continuing shift in public mood as governments in the area — faced with alarming deer populations — have organized deer kills and opened up hunting closer to suburban neighborhoods. In many of these places, the debate often centers not on whether to shoot, but on how best to shoot.

“We certainly are experiencing a turn of our citizens’ opinion,” said Bill Hamilton, head of wildlife and ecology for Montgomery County’s park service. Two of Montgomery’s most recent sharpshooting operations have dipped below the Capital Beltway, closer and closer to Washington’s urban core, according to county reports.

So . . . shoot or sterilize?

comments

  1. avatar John Fritz says:

    … So . . . shoot or sterilize? …

    Well, that’s an easy question. Who’s paying or it?

    I thought so. Shoot.

    1. avatar Jandrews says:

      Bingo. Are they seriously going to be using tax dollars to perform a multi-hundred to multi-thousand dollar surgical procedure PER DOE (not to mention the manhour and equipment costs of capture and transport)?

      Shoot the things. Under a dollar per round. Use the meat to feed some families and get them off foodstamps. Sell the pelts to Uggz for a profit. Lets start balancing the stupid fucking budget.

      1. avatar Allbaniaaaaa says:

        Thisssssssss

      2. avatar Jeff says:

        The FDA thinks venison is “dangerous.” There are numerous examples of venison being donated by hunters/butchers to local food banks or homeless shelters, only to be thrown out after the FDA catches wind of it.

        We truly live in an overly-regulated world.

        1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

          Wow. Well that’s not very compassionate! You’d think the Progressives would be up in arms (so to speak) over this injustice!

        2. avatar John says:

          Google ‘can venison be donated to a food bank’ and you will find links to numerous food banks that would be happy to have venison donated to them.

        3. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          It depends on where you live. In some states deer are a prime vector for Mad Cow disease.

        4. avatar DBM says:

          Link .Please

          FDA doesn’t want deer given to food banks because its not inspected. They want to dictate to everyone what they are allowed to eat. Probably another way the gov’t will try to ban hunting and guns. Make it illegal to eat what you kill.

        5. avatar thomas flournoy says:

          DBM If you think the FDA is a bad thing you should pop open a history book and find out what food was like before it. Or just read The Jungle.

        6. avatar Rich Grise says:

          If you think food vendors would knowingly poison their own customers, then you have a seriously pessimistic view of human nature.

        7. avatar DBM says:

          Actually I don’t think food inspection is a bad thing in fact Obama is all but closing down the USDA meat inspection program. He said the meat packing companies would police themselves. HA! Guess we know who gave him a lot of campaign money.
          My problem with meat inspections is when its used as a weapon against people to control them rather than a tool to insure the American people get safe food to eat. Clinton made sure nothing coming out of china was inspected.

      3. avatar thomas flournoy says:

        Virginia has a balanced budget.

    2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Exactly. A several hundred dollar surgery plus cost of tracking to within dart distance, transportation cost, etc. versus hunters that are willing to pay for the privilege of hunting. And don’t forget that the stress of the whole sterilization process may kill several of the deer anyways.

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        I recall another hippie dippie plan to relocate deer instead of hunting them. I don’t remember exact figures, but some significant fraction of the population died as a result of (expensive) relocation.

        So yeah, let’s relocate them twice and perform surgery on them inbetween and make taxpayers pay for it all! Then at the end we can be happy that the deer died as nature intended it to as opposed to gracing some family’s table.

    3. avatar SpeleoFool says:

      Who’s paying? Well, are they covered under Obamacare? If not, arrest them for tax evasion and let them work off their debt to society in a chain gang….

    4. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “Who’s paying or it?”

      Precisely.
      http://rich_grise.tripod.com

      1. avatar Karina says:

        I was visitor #357 of your website, apparently.
        Deliciously convenient.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          There is safety in numbers:
          22 Long Rifle
          25 ACP
          380 Auto
          9 mm Makarov
          9mm Luger
          38 special
          38 Super Auto
          357 magnum
          357 Sig
          40 S&W
          10 mm Auto
          41 Magnum
          44 Magnum
          45 ACP
          45 Long Colt
          454 Casull
          50 AE
          500 S&W Magnum
          http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=1357
          😉

    5. avatar Jeff says:

      Yup; how much is it going to cost to do all of this? I’m going to go ahead and guess between 5k and 10k per deer. They have to shoot it, transport it, which will require 3 people I’m guessing, and then perform friggin surgery? no doubt this is in the thousands. Just let us hunters come in and fix it! We’ll even pay YOU

  2. avatar Jim R says:

    Never let the opportunity to spend taxpayer money go to waste.

    In the time it takes them to capture, anesthetize and sterilize one deer, hunters could easily remove several dozen from the environment (and provide tasty dinners for quite some time).

    I think my answer is obvious.

    1. avatar BenW says:

      Agreed. Sterilizing deer is a humongous waste of money.
      Shoot them and eat them. Or give the meat to shelters so the poor can eat them.

  3. avatar steve says:

    What is that going to cost? It would be cheaper to remove the little portion of the brain left in the idiots’s who thought of sterilizing deer. This rank right up there with Al Gores idea to put diapers on cow’s to stop the methane from their shit.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I suspect that sterilization was PETA’s and the SPCA’s favorite idea. They seem very good at spending someone else’s money. Idiots…

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        Sterilize PETA?

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Unfortunately they reproduce through the MSM and the school system.

      2. avatar Nanashi says:

        Funny that, PETA actively opposes a local non-profit that offers free and low cost capture, sterilization, and return of feral cats. PETA’s position is the cats could now or in the future suffer and starve living in the streets so it is better to euthanize them. Even the healthy ones.
        Extrapolating from there, shoot the deer, we wouldn’t want them to suffer unnecessarily.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          The problem with killing feral cats is that there are always more feral cats to fill the space. What capture-neuter-return does is keep them (or other feral cats) from making more little feral cats, at least in that one spot.

        2. avatar DBM says:

          Problem with feral cats is old ladies feeding them. They have decimated the bird population of the US. A feral cat has a life expectancy of less than 2 yrs. They die of starvation or are eaten by something else. Deer no longer have top predators (humans, bobcats, mountain lions etc) hunting and eating them so now they are a pest. Shot the damned things and thin the herd. There are more deer in America now than 300 years ago so its not like they are in any danger of becoming extinct.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          If PETA opposes a capture-spay-return policy at no cost to the taxpayers, then PETA are(is?) evil.

    2. avatar B says:

      I’m surprised they aren’t saying deer abortions. Just think, a month or 2 after rut, they go in and dart the does, drive them to a clinic, and hack/vaccum out the fawn-etuses. Seems more like them. They could even say it cuts down on deer on deer crime, since those overcrowded deer won’t move into the city and join gangs that glorify having deer baby daddies and perpetuating the problem.

      … I forget what my point was.

      1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

        And I would laugh…except that you’re pretty much right on…

  4. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    Bring them down to texas. Well take em.

    1. avatar Kathy says:

      Ah, don’t bring them to Texas, we have more than enough, especially in my neigborhood. Best way to deal with urban/suburan deer is with bow hunters.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        I was going to say the same thing. In “sensitive” areas, you just declare an open season for bowhunters, and in a few weeks, your deer problem is over.

        But, spending hundreds of dollars per doe to sterilize it so that it can return to slowly starving to death or getting hit by a car, that’s a great idea, too…

      2. avatar WV Cycling says:

        Our town had an open bow season for deer on Main Street a few years back. Apparently the deer were so hungry that they were rummaging through local businesses dumpsters, and public trash cans along the street. The front page of the paper had a photo of a dude stooped up in a businesses doorwell, crouching behind the wall and aiming his bow.

        I believe the hunters were only allowed to be there for 11p – 6a. (or something like that)

  5. avatar Robert says:

    I always laugh a little when visiting my hoplophobic cousin in montpelier vermont. a few feet away from their property is a sign that reads “city limits hunters use buckshot”

  6. avatar Ruddee says:

    Would be cheaper on the whole to allow hunters to go in and cull the population instead of adding more burden to the tax payer’s woes….

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Montgomery County (Lib epicenter of Maryland) tried the sterilization thing last year. Spectacularly-expensive fail. That’s why the shooters. That’s also why (did you notice?) [politically correct] cops with non-evil, non-scary high-powered rifles…

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        Please… they were high power, scoped bolt action rifles with a very tight group. They were SNIPER RIFLEZ! but since these were duly appointed representatives of the State, it’s allright.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        Cops out gunnin. Hide your dogs.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          My dog as a kid got shot by a bow hunting idiot hick. I’ll take the cops, at least their department’s on the hook if they shoot something.

  7. Shoot and feed the needy.

    1. avatar Jandrews says:

      We should probably shoot the deer and feed them to the needy instead. Shooting the needy and giving them a meal is likely to yield mixed results at best.

      1. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

        Is baiting game even legal in that area? Its not very sportsman like.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Yes, no skittles allowed.

        2. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Shooting is illegal in that area, so what’s a little baiting among friends. I just hope they shut down the Parkway while they’re shooting.

        3. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

          Tom I was thinking more along the lines of 40’s of Old E.

        4. avatar John Fritz says:

          Much jocularity in this section… 🙂

        5. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Who cares if baiting isn’t sportsman like?

          Does anyone at the grocery store ever ask the butcher if the cows were given a opportunity to run before being slaughtered?

          Or, if the pigs were given a sporting chance before being turned into sausage?

          If all you care about is a bunch of heads on the wall then it about being a sportsman, if you’re doing it for food, why do you need to worry about giving your food a sporting chance to get away, no one else does.

        6. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “ask the butcher if the cows were given a opportunity to run before being slaughtered? ”

          Don’t have to. I once saw some hippies open a corral gate and try to tell the cows to all run away, they’re free now. The cows just looked bored and stood there chewing their cud. So apparently they don’t mind.

        7. avatar DBM says:

          Rock,
          Baiting in an area with a lot of people living in it is a great idea. It draws deer to an area where you can control the shoot direction to minimize human casualties and maximize one shot kills. Cant figure out why so many people care so much for these antlered rats.

      2. avatar CarlosT says:

        It is a bit of a mixed message.

    2. avatar Swarf says:

      Look, she’s my ex for a reason, sure, but I don’t want to shoot her.

  8. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    There is an opportunity to introduce more people to the shooting sports while also being able to feed their families some extra meat. If you live there and know a fence-sitter, take them hunting and show them the ropes. More hunters, more deer tags, more food = less of a deer problem.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      There is an idea. Arm every little old lady in the hood with a 870 and 500 slugs. Turn loose on the 4 leg (and 2 leg) trash.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Let the hunters handle it the way hunters do. Sport for families and venison for the table sounds a lot simpler and smarter than surgery.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      And a money making proposition instead of a money losing one. They could be selling hunting licenses, not spending tax revenue on spaying deer.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        Problem with shooting them, feeding and clothing the poor with them is that it makes too much sense.

        1. avatar DBM says:

          Work with the gov’t for awhile and you will see you are more right than you would ever know.
          I and my boss fixed a major system directly saving the live of hundreds of soldiers and we were told if you do that crap again we would be fired. It wasn’t our program to fix.

  10. avatar DaveL says:

    I have long thought they needed to open incorporated areas back up to hunters. If stray shots are an issue, I find raised stands take care of that problem. If noise is a problem, bows and suppressors take care of that. There’s really no excuse not to allow hunting, except the irrational hangups of anti-hunters.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “If stray shots are an issue, I find raised stands take care of that problem.”

      Absolutely! Get the hunter 20 feet up in the air and constrain them to large shotgun slugs below 1500 fps. That pretty much eliminates any risk of injuries to bystanders or nearby property.

      “If noise is a problem, bows and suppressors take care of that.”

      Absolutely again!

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        Near Washington DC. Right. Like suppressors will ever happen.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Suppressors?!? You mean SILENCERS that muggers use in their contract hits to take out grandmas and children!

      …right?

  11. avatar ToddR says:

    This isn’t a story about controlling the rodent population, it’s a story about how politicians are working very hard behind the scenes to make themselves appear relevant.

  12. avatar dwb says:

    both: Shoot the deer, and sterilize the morons who say to waste money sterilizing the deer. Sterilizing deer is a huge waste of time and money. You can’t get em all (deer bred in adjoining areas just move in), the ones sterilized still live to eat and destroy, many die from complications anyway.

  13. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Gees, talk about cruel and unusual punishment. I can see the deer laying on the table getting it’s ovaries cut out thinking “just shoot me, please”.

    I’m guessing the people that came up with this stupid idea are the same emotional, mamby-pamby, low-information, elitist, latte-sippin’, city liberals that are also afraid of the “things that go up” and bayonette lugs and flash hiders.

    Why ruin a good natural resource? It’s called Hunting people. And yes, you can do it too! It’s not just for Republicans! Sheesh. These people gotta get out more.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “I’m guessing the people that came up with this stupid idea are the same emotional, mamby-pamby, low-information, elitist, latte-sippin’, city liberals that are also afraid of the “things that go up” and bayonette lugs and flash hiders.”

      BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER, FOLKS!
      Fairfax County is one of the Montgomery County slurb clones in Virginia. Except the median income (and Liberal inclination) is even higher there. I think it has the highest average income in the US, if I recall correctly.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Hunting people is frowned on in most jurisdictions.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Let’s eat grandpa.

        1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

          LOL, hate it when I miss a comma in exactly the wrong place! 🙂

  14. avatar S_J says:

    “Early next year, if all goes according to plan, six cops armed with high-powered rifles will take up positions inside Cabin John Regional Park and begin killing the sweetest looking of creatures: white-tailed deer.”

    PFFT BAHAHAHA! Listen you sheltered bourgeoisie clowns, you won’t think they’re so “sweet” and innocent when they decide to off themselves on your vehicle going 70 mph down the Thruway. Or when they serve as rabies or Lyme vectors. Or when a buck in heat or angry doe defending her fawn decides to rear up and kick you or your pets to death. Thanks to your cushy urban development we killed or drove out the bulk of the whitetail’s natural predators from the Northeast a long time ago and left unchecked they are a furry pestilence like rats or rabbits. They aren’t cuddly anthropomorphized Disney creatures, they are potentially dangerous wild animals that reproduce in droves. Get over it.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I think we should give these dazzling urbanites a good dose of what they gave us here in Wyoming. Let’s bring back the predators you speak of.

      We have a surfeit of wolves in Wyoming these days. How about we capture a bunch of Wyoming/Idaho/Montana wolves that the “animal advocates” from back east are always defending from getting shot out here, and we turn ’em loose in the DC/Fairfax area?

      I call dibs on the ticket and beer concessions for spectators.

      After the wolves are well established, I think we oughta turn loose a half dozen grizzlies in the area, just to show that we’re not biased in favor of canines.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Most urban areas are overrun with predators. But they rarely kill deer.

      2. avatar S_J says:

        I am interested in your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        In upstate NY some wildlife activists have reintroduced mountain lions (no wolves yet but some coyotes running around up here are part wolf, go figure). There have been a number of farmers livid about this threat to their livestock but I don’t see the gnashing and wailing from the NYC bedroom communities yet. I give it about five years before a cougar (and not the kind Dirk likes) gets hungry or desperate enough to consider some downstate lawyer’s entitled little snot part of the food chain.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          Shannon is no cougar. She is a MILF. Cougars are older . . . Shannon is only 42

        2. avatar B says:

          Cougar isn’t determined by the girls age but by the guys. I’ve always considered 30+ going after college age a cougar, just a little above the roaring 20’s. Watts is dang near a GILF. I mean I am no doctor, but clinically she could easily be a granny, chronologically speaking.

      3. avatar jwm says:

        I really like the Grizzly idea. Talk about converting non gun owners into gun owners. Let an urbanite come face to face with a Grizz that’s eating his dog.

  15. avatar over-educated economist says:

    I live about half a mile from Rock Creek Park, which is basically next door, and I can confirm that the deer are just totally out of control. I can also tell you that they are so hated by the residents that, even here in far-left Montgomery County, there was almost no resistance whatsoever to the plan to shoot them by the dozen. I’m surprised that they aren’t doing that down in VA.

    1. avatar over-educated economist says:

      Oh, and forgot to mention: if you want in on the action, MoCo will actually let you try to get in on it:
      http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/Natural_Resources_Stewardship/Deer_Management/deer_population_mngmnt.shtm

    2. avatar JustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

      I am sure I could google it but since you live there. Are there no animals that pray on the deer?
      Were there ever any, or was the deer population introduced to the region by man?

      If the former, maybe they should spend the tax dollar to build up the population of the predator and in the mean time, just keep the deer in check with hunting until the balance is achieved again. That seems more economical in the long term.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        “Are there no animals that pray [sic] on the deer?”

        Only gangbangers from DC, and they prey on Liberal joggers almost exclusively.

        The DC burbs used to be an actual balanced woodland/farming ecosystem until WWII and later, when the housing market in the area exploded.

      2. avatar Stinkeye says:

        The problem with the predator idea in a suburban area is that any predators (cougars, wolves, coyotes) that are large enough to take a deer are also large enough to take somebody’s kids or pets. So that’s a non-starter right there. Why do you think the predators were run off or hunted to extinction in those areas to begin with?

        1. avatar JustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

          thanks for the quick education, Stinkeye . Makes sense, I get it. 🙂

          As I really don’t know what the area looks like or how densely it is populated, how much wilderness is remaining, or anything else that would prevent such approach, it seemed like a potential option to explore. Certainly not one that can be universally applied any more.
          My first thought was: Number 1 tourist destination in the country and we can live with bears coming into downtown rather frequently. Nobody blinks an eye about the millions of deadly gators that live all around us. People just seem to know how to coexist safely. (You don’t let your puppy run around the lake alone, nor do your kids ever jump into any random lake or river they come across. Never feed anything you don’t want to visit your front porch, etc)
          While a certain level of coexistence seems to work in areas of the gunshine state, I know better than to superimpose what may be tolerated or common in CFL, to any other part of the country.
          Hence I asked 🙂

      3. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

        If I pray on the deer, it’ll be just before I tuck into my meal.

        1. avatar JustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

          sorry, Matt. English is not my native language. Even after almost 20 years of living here, there are still some words that present a struggle at times. Especially when spell-check is not able to help.
          Unless I have time to check Webster, I am left to pray that I get it right or else accept to expect being the prey in the comment sections of the internet 😉

          happy holidays, stay warm

      4. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Man should always be the top predator anywhere he lives. To allow other apex predators to share his environment is the height of folly.

  16. avatar Oddux says:

    Start issuing bow hunting licenses for the outskirts of town and set up a charity to clean, inspect, and send the extra caught deer that hunters don’t want to keep to help feed the homeless this holiday season.

    Win/Win/Win

  17. avatar IdahoPete says:

    If the idiot taxpayers of Fairfax City and their idiot politicians want to spend THEIR tax dollars on this, that’s fine – just don’t try to use any hunting license revenue for this idiocy. And in a few years, when the resident deer population declines by whatever amount, deer on the edges of the Fairfax City habitat will move into the city to munch on the lovely suburban vegetation. And the idiots in Fairfax City will get to do it all over again.

    And what happened to the female deer’s right to choose? This kind of forced sterilization is SOOOO species-ist!

    1. avatar Drew says:

      It were the lefties that practiced forced sterilization on people no so long ago, along with institutionalized kidnaping. And correct me here but would it not be true that when the more town Savy deer are gone that the deer moving in would likely cause more problems? Our deer are not exactly over crowded but they do typically look both ways and wait to cross.

  18. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Kill and eat the deer, low fat, all natural meat, can’t go wrong.

  19. avatar Javier says:

    Pretty sure the votes on this issue are going to split pretty cleanly between veterinarians who want additional work and everybody else.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      The vets in the area don’t need the extra work. Believe me, they make a VERY comfortable living spaying and pushing pills to Buffie and Fluffy. I doubt they’re even equipped to do surgery on any animal as big as a mature deer.

  20. avatar jirdesteva says:

    Let the hunters hunt, that sounds reasonable and sane, but, that’s too much like common sense (Que the politicians). Unbeknownst to the non hunting or shooting public who feel that their suburban quite is being infringed upon by the wildlife in the area. Hunting is good for wildlife population control and would stop such intrusions on the suburban life style. Sarcasm/ off.

    1. avatar over-educated economist says:

      To be fair, the deer are living in a very suburban area, and there are a lot of hiking/walking paths. I’m not sure you could just let a bunch of hunters loose in there without some unfortunate accidents.

      1. avatar jirdesteva says:

        In Joisy they post the days the hunters go out for bear hunts to keep the non hunting public out for the days the hunt is on for. In areas that are used for hiking and such.

      2. avatar dwb says:

        Coyotes and bobcats and other top predators are moving in. Coyotes are now in every Maryland and VA county. Nature abhors a vacuum. Which would lead to more “accidents” – coyotes and bobcats, or bow hunters – especially those involving pets?

      3. avatar jwm says:

        In the heart of the San Francisco bay area, home to teeming masses, there is still waterfowl hunting. Near my house is Alameda creek. It empties into the bay. The levies on both sides of the creek contain some of the heaviest used bike and walking trails that you can find. I use these trails myself.

        During water fowl season signs are posted along the trails. Boats full of hunters with shotguns come up the creek. From the middle of the creek to both trails, which are on top of the levies, is no more than 40 yards, give or take.

        I’ve been here for 8 years and I have yet to hear of a hunter accidently bagging a jogger.

        In Fremont, some years back, the city was having trouble with wild pigs leaving the hills and waqndering into neighberhoods. They hired a bow hunter to take out the piggies. I would have charged bowhunters a fee to hunt the burbs.

      4. avatar ropingdown says:

        Having previously lived for years in Oakton, halfway between Fairfax City and Reston, I’m not surprised they don’t want rifle hunting in Fairfax City. It’s a densely populated area. So, however, is my township in suburban Philadelphia. We bring in a USDA team with suppressed rifles and night vision. Corn is placed in park or estate areas and the deer are culled at two or three a.m. The cull is often more than 120 deer. The meat is given to a local food charity. I find it quite spooky, actually, the ‘slaughter in the night.’ I still have deer traversing my lawn most days, sometimes spending the day in the yard nibbling shrubs, flowers, and such. There are many areas in the yard offering complete cover. Two fauns were birthed under the English yew trees this year. A bow-hunting solution might work, just up to the moment a wounded-but-not-down deer with an arrow in its flank is seen by neighboring children. Such is life.

  21. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    my kids were aghast at the notion of killing bambi (they heard me and the spousal unit discussing our local town’s plan for an organized hunt to cull the heard), until one morning, right before I took them to school as we were in my truck, a 6pt buck appeared from the adjoining wooded area and stood in front of our vehicle not even 5 ft away. My oldest had forgetter her hat inside the house but was so scared at the size of said buck that she implored me to pull out my handgun and shoot the deer right there. Amazing how reality sets in. Now she wants to take up hunting . . . .

  22. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    We’ve seen a similar debate play out in the west over the issue of “mustangs” (aka feral horses) on BLM lands.

    The shrub snugglers want the horses captured and the mares injected with birth control – at taxpayer expense, naturally. If you were wondering where Sandra Fluke gets her ideas, well, wonder no longer.

    The result is never enough to actually control populations. The above proposal for surgery is beyond absurd.

    If people are worried about the carrying range of firearms, then use crossbows and broad heads. No noise, lots of dead deer.

    1. avatar DBM says:

      No birth control drugs have ever worked on deer so the touchy feely crowd want some other option than killing them. They will fight to save a deer and fight to kill a baby. Weird folk they are.

  23. avatar tommyr says:

    Shoot and feed the poor and homeless with them

  24. avatar Bruce says:

    How densely populated is the area? If it is too dense, shooting is likely not a viable option.

  25. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Well maybe if they allowed hunting to curve the deer population that would fix the issue. Works in the rest of the country, why not their?

  26. avatar Cyrano says:

    We have in town deer hunts in Iowa. They make them bow only. Still only dents the population slightly because of the lack of length of the season.

    Make the hunts muzzleloader/bow/crossbow and sell them for a cut rate compared to out of city limits tags. That’s my idea. A 10 dollar tag (unlimite sale) compared to 25 dollars (one per hunter) would kill a lot of town deer.

  27. avatar Roscoe says:

    Shoot Bambi???

    Oh the horrors…!

  28. avatar Ardent says:

    It’s painful to consider that this is a real proposal. To think that I actually share a planet with someone so massively obtuse as to propose dealing with a walking meat problem by capturing and sterilizing them is just too depressing. Liberals really must have no concept of expense when tax money is in play.

    The fact that there is even a discussion about sterilization versus shooting is patently absurd. Is there even a downside to shooting them? Volunteer labor with no tax payer expense, much good meat is harvested and the animal population is checked versus massive expense, tremendous effort and a highly doubtful scheme all on the tax payers dime.

    I originally heard this locally here in Ohio but I suppose it holds true most places:
    Hit a deer with your car: God’s deer, the state isn’t responsible.
    Shoot a deer out of season: State’s deer, lose your gun and truck and pay a fine.

    Random thought: Politicians made the rules that disallowed hunting and spend the tax payers money to enforce it. Then they come back for more money to sterilize the deer you aren’t allowed to shoot. Thus they created a problem for them to solve. As someone stated above, striving for relevance.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      More like starving for relevance…

  29. avatar Rob says:

    .30-30 soft tip hunting ammo $1 a deer, deer no longer gets on roads or eats shrubs.

    Knockout+surgery, probably better than $50-$100 a deer. deer still gets on roads, eats shrubs, is a general annoyance.

    From both a cost and effectiveness standpoint, shoot.

    1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

      you forgot a couple zeros, once you figure in time and effort of public employees and average success rate.

      $5,000-$10,000

      Fix’d

  30. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Of course, being Merryland and especially MOCO, they HAVE to make the managed hunts a royal PITA:

    “What qualifies a hunter to participate in a managed hunt?
    All managed hunt participants must complete a written Pre-screening Managed Hunt Packet (pdf. 773kb) delineating safety issues, personal experience and history, and personal motivations. As part of the pre-screening, participants must submit to a background check to ensure that they do not have a history of violent crime or DNR violations. If the questionnaire and background check are acceptable, the applicant may be approved to participate in the hunt lottery. If selected, the hunter must present: his/her Photo I.D., Hunter Safety Card, a current MD hunting license, and a State Shooter Qualification Card demonstrating his/her proficiency with the firearm they plan to use for the hunting program. Only then will the hunter be permitted to participate in the program.”
    http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/Natural_Resources_Stewardship/Living_with_wildlife/deer/deerFAQs.shtm

    1. avatar dwb says:

      Typically there are far more applicants than opportunities (I do a sister managed hunt). Part of being in these hunts unfortunately is also part ambassador. Crazy as it sounds, protesters will get aggressive with a pack of 40 hunters with guns. One really needs to quell the natural instinct to argue with the PETA people who arrive with five barking dogs and a cat in their Prius. You’d think the 12 ga would be a deterrent but they want confrontation, the bigger the better. LOOK HE THREATENED TO SHOOT MY RAT DOG WITH HIS BIG EVIL GUN WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE IN YOUR BACKYARD WITH GUNS WHILE YOUR CHILDREN ARE PLAYING.

      Shoot the deer, be nice to the natives, don’t do anything to jeapordize the program. These rules are for public safety, just not in the way you think. One knucklehead could kill the program and the PETA libs will jump on anything to generate bad press.

  31. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I’d say sterilize the critters because if you get caught in DC with a firearm they’ll throw you in the clink and add a year or two for the spent casings. It’s not worth a decade in jail to relieve a bunch of liberals and bureaucrats of the nuisance. Although someone did mention bow hunting. What’s the sentence for getting caught with a bow in DC?

    1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

      With DC cops?

  32. avatar Noishkel says:

    If the question is to either shoot or sterilize whoever came up with this ASININE plan then I say shoot every time.

  33. avatar Steve Ramsey says:

    Probably better than half will die of shock, injury, or infection.

  34. avatar DBM says:

    SHOOT!!!!! Early and OFTEN!

    Spey and Neutering deer are only a temp fix so old ladies with no kids can joyfully look at the deer eating their flowers. As soon as those deer die off a new group will come fill the void. In the mean time they still run out into traffic and spread deer ticks.

    Most of America is still wide open wild area’s. Deer can happily roam there.

  35. avatar Salwolff says:

    If I were given a choice on paying to steralise, or shooting and eating I would shoot and eat. I can barely afford property taxes,and food shopping is tough.Taxes get paid and we skip foods.

    I would move if my local government was foolishly spending tax money,and then asking for increases.

  36. avatar MojoRonin says:

    I’ve had a deer go through my windshield. I don’t think it mattered if it was sterilized or not. It hurt. It sucked. It totaled out my car. I started deer hunting the next season.

    1. avatar MojoRonin says:

      This is what a deer can do. It does not matter if the deer is sterile or not. I say hunt them to control the population. http://www.flickr.com/photos/13722508@N02/11575275184/

  37. avatar TT says:

    This is my neck of the woods so I checked into it. I found this article

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2013/12/18/fairfax-city-to-try-a-new-approach-to-deer-surgical-sterilization-of-does/

    That may be the same as the original story links in.

    This is happening in Fairfax City, not Fairfax County. While Fairfax County is not the very best county in the country regarding the 2A, it certainly isn’t Montgomery County or anything like it. The city of Fairfax has a pretty high population density and, according the article, they could only find one location (a golf course) where hunting could be done legally. Personally, I doubt this approach demonstrates a reluctance to shoot the deer.

    This isn’t being tax funded this year. Again, according to the article, some fat cats got together and funded this as a grant. Apparently they think it will cost about $1000 a deer and they think they have somewhere between 50-75 deer in the city. I’m sure the company promoting this is hoping that this will turn into a regular thing.

    Why they didn’t find a way to make bow hunting work is beyond me. Or even trapping. Stalking the deer in the woods and tranquilizing them is going to kill a bunch of them from the stress. And I’m sure they could find something useful to do with the meat. Alas.

    1. avatar TT says:

      “Personally, I doubt this approach demonstrates a reluctance to shoot the deer.”

      After reading the article again to my wife, I realized that I was wrong. Apparently this is being billed as a humane alternative to hunting. How stupid can they be? I wonder if they think farmers get chicken meat surgically. Idiots!

  38. avatar H.R. says:

    Sterilizing deer sounds like one of the most ridiculous ideas ever. You start with the cost of a surgery on a deer, then you release it to get hit by a car and cause thousands of dollars in damage. That’s idiotic.

    Allow them to be hunted. Issue permits, even if only hunting with bows or crossbows is permitted. It’d be preferable to not kill them all – even city dwellers in parks like to see the occasional deer. By allowing hunting, they’d get the numbers under control and be able to generate revenue from the sale of licenses instead of turning it into a money pit.

  39. avatar supergrover says:

    they’re not even doing it right. remove the ovaries and it stops acting like a doe;you must leave them in so it still acts like a normal doe in every way except fertility. this way, the (fertile) buck’s time is occupied with infertile does, leaving less time for fertile ones. and there WILL be some fertile does left.

    besides, this does nothing in the very short term, since the population won’t change; nothing in the long term, as deer can reproduce quickly under ideal conditions; and little in the ‘mid’ term (?) because the doe’s life span is too long. as they are no longer putting any effort into reproduction, they’ll live longer, and once they finally start dying off(3-5y+), the deer population will be on its way to recovery.

  40. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    If the deer don’t feed hunters, they will feed other predators that will follow the deer into residential areas.

    Seems like a no brainer to me.

    1. avatar DBM says:

      I’ve been told that the gov’t has started quietly releasing coyotes onto military bases in MD (don’t have any firm proof) to control the exploding deer populations. That’s really bright if true. The coyotes will leave the posts for easier pickings like cats dogs and little children. Yes that does happen. Little kids are no more than happy meals for them.

  41. avatar Unarmed & unnamed says:

    The then federal government in Australia proposed a similar idea a few years back in response to sheep being eaten by wild dingoes.
    They claimed that capturing males, castrating and releasing them was a ‘more humane’ method of population control than a .243 to the heart.
    Needless to say, one of the farmers had a classic line,
    “Mr Garrett, mate, I don’t think you understand our problem, the dingoes aren’t f***ing our sheep, they’re eating them!”

    http://taylor-bowen.com/2013/03/i-love-aussie-humour/

  42. avatar Fionn MacCumhail says:

    I know that sterilizing those does are expensive, but it’s a much better idea than the original plan. It was murder trying to get the condoms on those bucks.

  43. avatar Paul W. says:

    Only one gives me yummy venison.

  44. avatar glen says:

    Birth control pills in a salt block would do the job with less effort and a damn site safer. You guy’s that want to shoot something can go to Texas for hogs or set up your own game ranch is some isolated place.
    I never went deer hunting in the suburbs. The less they know about hunting the better.

    1. avatar DBM says:

      Glen,
      They’ve been trying to come up with an effective birth control pill for deer for over 30 years and have had no success. It just doesn’t work for them. Maybe a headache pill would work.

  45. avatar JoshuaS says:

    Open up hunting wherever it would be safe to hunt. As you get closer to homes and cities, restrict it to blackpowder and shotguns. Then allow bow hunting even in cities, wherever there is a safe distance to be firing from. Only if the deer manage to hide in the congested areas where there isn’t any safe discharge of weapons do you change tactics…namely traps. Give the meat to the needy.

    We have a major deer problem (black tails) in my So-Cal neighborhood. I was actually ran over by some deer. Something spooked them and they ran right into me. And I live in the suburbs, not very many large properties anymore either.

    But LA county has made it essentially impossible to hunt in the mountains behind my house, so the populations explode. We had several mountain lions this year…at the children’s park. And a bear that showed up weekly for trash day for a while. And tons and tons of deer.

    Not very many coyotes anymore though.

  46. avatar Larry says:

    Where I live there was a park/ town over run with deer. They went the sharp shooter route at first. Cops on overtime as sharp shooters, more cops on OT blocking the park roads (done at night).

    Bait piles etc. the cost per deer came out came out at several hundred per deer… Turns out when you shoot one the others runoff who would have known??….

    The town went to an organized bow hunt where guys paid to shoot them and it worked quite well.

    Oh and there are no cougars being introduced anywhere in the state.

  47. avatar thomas flournoy says:

    Or how about we do neither. Now, I’m not against hunting, but sterilizing or killing every doe will bring the deer population to zero eventually. For what? So we have one less thing to run into while we’re checking facebook when we should be driving?

  48. avatar Not my planet says:

    As the District and its highly populated suburbs grapple with controlling their populations, Fairfax City is planning a new approach: Tranquilize and capture all the females in the city, take them to a surgical table and remove their ovaries to keep them from reproducing,

    So the problem is overpopulation which strains available resources…and the proposed solution is sterilization?
    Seems rather harsh, when all that’s really necessary is to get them signed up for the Unaffordable WealthCare Redistribution Tax and have ‘em take advantage of free birth control and sex-change operations.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Hey, If I had any money, I’d voluntarily pay for free birth control for anyone who wants it – why bring more unwanted illegitimate little barstids into the world?

      Other than as new little soldiers for the bloodthirsty warmongers.

      1. avatar DBM says:

        Rich you are already paying for free birth control. Birth control has been free from the county health departments for at least 40yrs. Women are just to damned lazy to go get it.

  49. avatar Nanashi says:

    If the deer are a problem now, you need them gone now. Leaving them to cause problems for the next howeverlong it takes is not a viable option. Shoot them (better) or tranquilize and euthanize them (better than sterilizing).

  50. avatar Will P says:

    Shoot! Sterilizing them would eradicate the entire population in that area. Living in rural south Ga. I am all too aware of the annoyance of having to play dodge the deer on the roads, honestly if you don’t hit a deer at some point down here in your life, you haven’t been driving. I also have friends that farm and know the potential damage they can do to crops/plants(though not near as bad as wild pigs). But you sterilize and try to kill off an entire species in an area is just plain madness. Up the bag limit on hunting deer and lower the cost of a deer tag, promote hunting and controlled conservation, control the populations numbers. The people that are most likely complaining the most have absolutely no concept of ecological impact of what they are proposing, and just don’t want to ruin their luxury Lexus or have the deer eat their precious rose bushes. Those deer have been there long before you, and in my opinion have more of a right to be there as well.

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