SPECIAL TO NEW WOODBURN COMMUNITY SCHOOL
Bow-And-Arrow-Killing City Deer in Morgantown, West Virginia
by Victor Rip
What’s next? Trapping and cooking your neighbor’s dog for a holiday feast? Bow and arrow shooting is the most brutal and stupid way imaginable to attempt to control urban deer populations. The West Virginia DNR is to blame for the deer population. The DNR has gone wild and continues to pump up the deer population far beyond ecological levels because the DNR makes big money off the sale of hunting licenses.
But first: what is this, the 9th century both morally and technologically?
In one of our special featured links, most brutal and stupid, The Humane Society explains the brutality of bow and arrow killing, as do Minnesota city officials and schoolchildren who have witnessed deer walking around with arrows stuck through their heads.
Bow and arrow killing gets an A for brutality and an F for effectiveness. Sharpshooter bullet killing, while brutal, if somewhat less so, at least would be more effective in the short term, if done scientifically, though both methods are entirely ineffective in the long term.
Morgantown City Council opted for the cheapest, most brutal, and basically phony solution, unlike say the city of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and many other towns and cities which have had the good sense to reject a city bowhunt that:
“would have to kill a lot of animals and be repeated, and wounded animals might need to be tracked onto private property. ‘We do not believe an urban hunt is a viable option for the town,’ says the memo from leaders of the police, public works, and parks and recreation departments. Instead, they recommend the town provide information to residents who want to protect their gardens.”
Dogs that poop a lot around gardens help no little bit. And there are plenty of other solutions, as explained below.
So much for the cheap shoot-first, appearances-over-substance decision of Morgantown City Council.
And by the way, anyone who has ever visited or lived in a town that actually is flooded with deer, particularly out west, and where the people live with the deer and therefore drive more slowly and safely, would consider the idea that Morgantown has a huge amount of deer to be a joke.
All that said, it wouldn’t hurt to reduce the deer population gradually, so how should the city begin to do so in a way that is actually effective and compassionate?
The City of Morgantown, along with cities and counties all across West Virginia, should start by suing the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources for violation of WV Code 20-2-1. The DNR created the big deer population in the first place and is responsible for it. Not only did the DNR explode upward the deer population, it insists on continuing to do so.
The only way to effectively and humanely control city deer populations in Morgantown and elsewhere is to control the state deer population. The DNR refuses. So as the cities and counties sue the DNR, the state legislature should pass further wildlife laws to get the DNR under real control. The DNR deer population policies harm farmers, gardeners, drivers, and the deer themselves, as our next featured link, “Negative Impacts of High Deer Population [In West Virginia],” explains in detail.
It’s long since time to put the Morgantown City Council deer hunt into badly needed context. The deer population has been stupidly and brutally confronted because unpopular but cheap, simpleton, kill-first measures are pushed in a vacuum of understanding.
The 1995 state deer report linked above finds that ”The increase in the deer herd is attributable in part to the primary objectives of DNR: increasing the deer population to a level that will support the harvesting of 183,000 per year by the year 2000. This will require a deer population of 40 deer per square mile” even though “generally accepted scientific research has found that deer in populations over 20 deer per square mile harms forests…”
Such artificially inflated (DNRtificially inflated) deer populations also damage habitat, wildlife, vegetation, and the non-hunting economy (farming & forestry), while increasing traffic accidents (especially in rural areas) and angering gardeners and causing city councils to go all stupid and brutal.
The DNR refuses to accept its responsibility: ”The DNR has not set a threshold defining when deer populations have become too high. Current deer populations are estimated by the DNR at 10 to 90 deer per square mile, with an average of 34.1…. [Though] studies indicate that negative outcomes occur when deer populations exceed 20 deer per square mile…the goal of the DNR is to bring the state’s herd to an average of 40 deer per square mile.”
The main problem is not the deer, it’s the DNR. That’s why the City of Morgantown should sue the DNR. That’s why Morgantown’s delegates to the legislature should introduce legislation to bring the state deer herd into ecological balance.
The DNR is not just irresponsible to the citizens, it is stupid and backwards. Fewer people nationwide are hunting, including in West Virginia, yet the DNR has grown the deer herd at the exact same time that the number of hunters continues to drop: ”Hunting is a huge part of life in West Virginia but, mirroring a national trend, the number of hunters buying permits has been declining for years. The state sold 154,763 hunting permits to residents in 2006, according to the Division of Natural Resources, a 17 percent drop from 1997.”
In 2010, the number of deer hunters fell even more steeply: ”A Division of Natural Resources number-cruncher has identified yet another factor that contributed to last year’s 31 percent deer harvest decline. Steve Brown, a DNR senior planner, believes at least part of the drop-off occurred because 12,000 fewer hunters ventured afield. Brown based his hypothesis on hunting-license sales, which plunged sharply in January, February and March of 2010 and never recovered.”
Sorry, City of Morgantown, you can’t combat these humane trends with your gruesome and pitiful bows and arrows. Try using the law for a change. We know you know how to do so when you are absolutely shaken from your lethargy and forced to do so.
And so the second worst problem after the DNR is the Morgantown City Council, which is probably more likely to get a person killed in a bow and arrow urban deer hunt than it is to solve any pressing deer issues.
Some in the WV legislature now want to introduce hunting classes into schools to help stem the loss of hunters. The more humane realize that those times should be gone: ”The decline in hunters is something that should be celebrated…according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which said Wednesday the West Virginia bill is a bad idea. ‘Americans are compassionate people, and that’s why hunting is on the decline,’ said activist liaison Nicole Matthews. ‘Instead of teaching kids to be insensitive to suffering, we should be helping them appreciate nature in ways that aren’t destructive’.”
And so too should the DNR finally be forced to not be destructive to nature. The DNR should stop clear-cutting forests to plant deer food to grow the state herd. And it should stop doing everything else it does to increase the deer population. The DNR should plant trees to reforest all its clear-cuts to help gradually bring the deer back to ecological levels. The Morgantown City Council should be a leading part of efforts to do just that, to force the DNR to do the job it is supposed to be doing.
Bow-and-arrow-killing urban deer is the DNR’s advice, but the DNR has no credibility on this issue. The DNR caused the deer overpopulation in the first place and continues to be at fault. Heeding the advice of the DNR on this issue is like heeding the advice of the fox about the henhouse. The DNR heavily funds itself by selling hunting licenses, so the DNR is hopelessly compromised. The DNR has gone wild on deer and should be sued to bring the state deer herd back into ecological balance. Any other approach is counterproductive, backwards, and brutal.
It has come to my attention that you are considering allowing bow hunting in Hudson as a means to thin the deer herd. That will not work any more than hiring sharp shooters will because you will not be addressing the root cause of the problem.
Studies across the board prove that killing significant numbers of deer will not only fail to solve the problem but exacerbate it. Dr. Allen Rutberg, eminent expert on wildlife management as well as wildlife contraception, and head of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine said, “The most visible weakness in the assertion that hunting is necessary to control deer populations is that it has largely failed to do so over the last two decades. Just because deer are being killed doesn’t mean that deer populations are being controlled.”
Studies conducted by Fish and Game agencies across the country show that 50% of deer shot with an arrow run off to die long, drawn out agonizing deaths. Please read admissions from hunters themselves, regarding unretrieved deer.
Please watch the video taken in Walton Hills last winter which shows that hunting is the cause and not the cure of dva’s.
Important data recently published by the Erie Insurance company (the 16th largest auto insurer in the U.S.) found that, after collecting statistics for a decade, it was determined that the two most dangerous days to drive (in terms of deer) are the opening day and opening Saturday of hunting season. The study showed a dramatic five-fold increase. Deer frightened by bullets and arrows run blindly into the roads.
The Independence chief of police said, “An accident we had was a guy east of route 21 in the woods. He shot a deer that ran out onto route 21 and into the side of a car.”
In a recent Freedom of Information request to the city of Independence it was revealed that during the city’s bow hunting season deer were shot with arrows and never retrieved.
Here is a picture of a dead deer a resident in Independence found in their backyard. Many residents have witnessed wounded deer running through the neighborhoods impaled with arrows or have found dead deer in their yards. Many residents have witnessed wounded deer running through the neighborhoods impaled with arrows or have found dead deer in their yards.
The following was sent from a resident in Independence to a council member: A nearby resident told me of another dead deer on their property. This one still has the arrow in it and has been there long enough to be bloated due to the warm weather we have been having. I would give you the resident’s name and you would know it, but many people are reluctant to get the visibility that accompanies complaining. You can certainly count this one as having been lost by the hunter, or possibly not even tracked due to lack of permission on adjoining properties.
Presently there is a doe that has been traveling between Brecksville and Broadview Hts. for the last nine months who has an arrow in her eye.
Yet another picture of a doe found in a suburban neighborhood. She had two fawns.
Solon police chief, Wayne Godzich, himself a bow hunter would never allow bow hunting in the city. He said, “As a hunter I don’t think anyone wants to see deer expire in their front yards. I’m responsible for the people of the city of Solon and their properties.That’s why I can’t condone hunting. Deer can run for miles before collapsing and dying of arrow wounds. They can even get hit through the lungs and still run.”
Bow hunting as a deer management tool quotes:
In Texas, which has more deer than any other state, Parks and Wildlife Biologist, Horace Gore comments: “You cannot call bow hunting a population control measure. It is a recreational pursuit. In fact, he adds: “We do not advocate bow hunting when the objective is controlling the population.”
Larry Gillette, wildlife biologist for Hennepin Parks, acknowledges that bow hunters fail to retrieve a substantial number of deer they shoot and does not advise the use of archery hunting to control deer.
A report in Rock Cut State Park in Illinois, department of conservation biologist, Tom Beiset states: “This report recognizes that bow hunting has never been an effective tool for bow hunting.
The mayor of Egan, Tom Eagan, was quoted as saying, “I have always supported bow hunting but I no longer feel the rationale that it’s an efficient management tool or outweighs the safety and cruelty aspects. I think if we set loose every bowhunter in Eagan we still wouldn’t reduce the deer population and the city would be less safe. It isn’t feasible for every bowhunter to shoot and retrieve five deer. They might each shoot and wound five deer but not shoot and retrieve five.”
Please read quotes (attached) from respected biologists, scientists and other experts regarding the efficacy of bow hunting or culling as a management tool.
Two years ago Peaceful Deer Alliance, along with the Humane Society of the U.S., brought Sandy Baker, (dubbed the Deer Dr.), here where she gave four seminars on How to Deer-Proof your Garden. She presented at Petitti’s Garden Center, The city of Seven Hills rec center, the Aurora Recreation and Parks Center and Eagle Creek Garden Center in Bainbridge. A Hudson resident won the Scarecrow deer deterrent. I have just spoken to him and he said that “it worked like a charm and his Day Lillies are even coming back.” Ms. Baker’s vast knowledge and success stories are so impressive that Pepper Pike Mayor, along with a few others, brought her back to the area last year where she gave two more presentations.
Ms. Baker recently called Mr. Bales to discuss coming to Hudson for a seminar. She is waiting for his return call.
I know that the city of Hudson purchased the Strieter Lites several years ago but no data has been taken nor have they been maintained. Mr. Dennis Randolph, P.E., has worked for almost four decades in road and highway relatated postitions and has acquired extensive experience in these areas. He served from 1992 to 2008 as the Calhoun County Road Commission Managing Director, Calhoun Ct., MI. Michigan consistently ranked first, second or third place state wide on Deer-Vehicle-Accidents (DVA’s) As a measure to address this problem and reduce budget expenses, Mr. Randolph and his team approved and oversaw the installation of Streiter-Lite deer reflectors in both rural and urban areas of the county, resulting in an 80-95% reduction of DVA’s in those areas. After ten years the reflectors are still working.
I’m sure Mr. Randolph would be happy to work with you to correct any mistakes or unsatisfactory results with the Strieter Lites.
His contacts: 586-786-9659 / 248-867-0458 Cell / firstname.lastname@example.org
As modern technology marches on another roadside deer deterrent, Wildlife Crossing Guard has been developed. DeerDeter by JAFA Technologies has been used with tremendous success. Ed Mulka, president of the company, has sent me a packet of information along with a CD, as well as Greg Janik, who will give this information to Mr. Bales for you to review.
The DeerDeter Wildlife Crossing Guard is a roadside device that is activated by approaching headlights to emit sound and light as stimuli to stop animals from crossing the road. The shrill alarm and a blue-white strobe-type light is an active method to keep deer from crossing a road when a vehicle is present at night.
This system is significantly less expensive than the Strieter Lites and does not require the precision installation nor the same maintenance as the Strieter Lites. I firmly believe this system will be the answer to dva’s across the country. Hunting will not.
Mr. Mulka is willing to come to Hudson to give you a presentation at your convenience. After reviewing the information packet and CD I am positive you will be very excited and interested in this system.
Allowing bow hunting within city limits will encourage poachers as proven in many other suburbs such as Solon and Broadview Hts. Your stated concern for residents safety will prove to be very insincere if you allow razor-tipped arrows and crossbow bolts that travel 184 mph, with a minimum range of 180 ft. close to homes, residents and their families and companion animals. Bow hunting accidents are on the rise and some are even fatal.
OH citizens are strongly opposed to allowing lethal weapons to be dispersed in our neighborhoods as demonstrated recently by completed referendums in Ottawa Hills (near Toledo) and in Broadview Hts.
Ottawa Hills was considering hiring White Buffalo and Broadview Hts. wanted to allow bow hunting. I believe the Hudson residents will also do a referendum should you decide on any lethal means of deer population control.
You may not be aware but you have been looked upon by many people across the country, who are working on the deer issue, with great respect for your progressive thinking, ethics, responsible leadership and rational thinking. We must keep in step with our changing environment when making decisions in today’s world. Killing sentient beings for the sake of expediency should NEVER be a community service. Luckily modern technology offers many long-term, science-proven non-violent, non-lethal solutions.
Hunting serves ONLY hunters.
For your continued respectability and as role models I hope you will not allow beautiful Hudson to be turned into a killing field.