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December 04, 2007

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Deer Having Big Impact

An interesting bit of information crossed my desk yesterday from, of all publications, the New York Times. The Times isn’t exactly the bastion of conservative journalism, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw their report on the ever-growing problem we’re facing with exploding whitetail populations.

It comes as no surprise to those of us who live in the burbs and regularly hear stories about collisions with deer that the Times quotes the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which reports: “there are about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year.” The result? People who might have been anti-hunting are beginning to change their attitude because the collateral damage deer are doing to their cars (not to mention their yards) is hitting them right in the pocketbook. (My neighbor hit a beautiful 5x5 last year at night—right in the heart of the rut. Total damage to their Cherokee was over $5,000.)

Use of firearms for hunting is strictly prohibited where I live, but a strong case can be made for a controlled bow hunt. Now, if I can just convince the city council…

-Todd Smith


Richard Paradis

I have been hunting deer for 55 years. My wife for more than 30 years. We hunt whitetails together in Maine extensively.

My sister-in-law (wife's sister) decided many years ago and the Clinton mental lapse during the early 1990's gave her the courage to get on the bandwagon and take a really aggressive strategy against hunting and firearms.

Her campaign was derailed when her husband was nearly killed by a deer that went through the windshield of his car in suburban Savannah, Georgia. Now, my sister-in-law wants to know why we have all these deer and who is going to do something about them. They are eating her shrubbery, pose a risk for Lyme disease and are a major menace on the suburban streets near her home.

This past summer while in Maine he asked to shoot some of my firearms and did so - loved it. He had grown up in the city and never fired a gun before. He plans to come to Maine to hunt with me when he retires next year.

He now wants to buy a handgun for home defense! Huh?

BTW. My sister-in-law declined the chance to shoot when offered but she later told my wife that she really should have done so. Next year?

Dean Teal

Here in Kansas, a Wildlife and Parks spokesperson was on the news stating that the herd numbers are up but the number of hunters are down – why is that? Well, it has gotten harder and harder to find land to hunt on. Public hunting areas are over hunted and many times unsafe. Getting permission to hunt on private land is boiling down to “you have to know someone”. If your job has relocated you to another state or area of a state, getting to know land owners takes a lot of time.
The second reason - $32 for a license and $12 per antlerless game tag (resident). Plus fees are added for buying your license on line (less work for them but they charge more??). If they want more deer harvested by the fewer numbers of hunters doing the harvest they need to eliminate game tag fee, it’s just getting to high.


I have to agree with Dean. I live in Ohio and am hearing and seeing the exact same thing. Our public lands are growing quickly but being over run. An added problem seems to be getting the hunters into the field at the right times. One or two bad days in a short season have been slowing the harvest. Give the ODNR high marks though for clever ways to expand the harvest.Maybe we should just feel blessed to have this particular problem after so many years of so few deer.


I'm in PA and the area I hunt has far too few deer, I keep seeing the same group of does (was 6, now 4) running around and one little spike buck who is not shootable under PA antler restrictions. Which is another question, does anyone else remember being told to shoot spikes to improve the deer herd as they will never be anything better and to take them out of the gene pool as inferior, why are they now protecting then so they can supposedly "mature" into 12 pointers?
This make sense to anyone?

Paul Gamblin

Here in Georgia, the deer population is so high that the bag limits are set very high. We can still only take 2 antlered deer, one of which has to have at least 4 points on one side. However, we can take up to 10 antlerless deer, so they are serious about hunters being a large part in controlling the population growth.

another voice

To all states....buy one deer permit / license that has 2 antlered (one bow , one firearm) and up to 10 does permits all
at one price. Then the hunters can have at it.