“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?