Culling

Rock Creek Park deer population control begins in Dec.; road closures overnight, WTOP, Nov 27, 2017During the more than three-month effort to curb the park’s whitetail deer population, trained firearms experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture work with the National Park Service and U.S. Park Police to hunt deer at night, when the park is normally closed. The contentious hunt reduces the deer population that has “negatively impacted Rock Creek Park,” the National Park Service said. The deer population has led to a decline in forest regeneration and native plants, Nortrup said. “Deer management was initiated because of the negative impact deer have had over the past 20 years on park forest vegetation,” Nortrup said.

Culling Village Deer May Be Ahead, EastHanpton Star, Nov 16, 2017The East Hampton Village Board has moved closer in recent weeks to allowing highly managed hunting as a means of reducing the number of deer. This is a brave position. Opponents of deer hunts, while perhaps few in number, are vocal and unyielding. Hunting is the only population-control method consistently shown to work, however, and it has been used as an environmental management tool for decades.

Bethesda Resident Says She Is Giving Up on Lawsuit Challenging Bow-Hunting Program, Bethesda Magazine, Nov 16, 2017Last month, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against Cohhn, deciding that the park was not violating animal cruelty laws by using bow hunting to control the deer population. With its ruling, the three-judge panel affirmed a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge’s decision against Cohhn.

Meeting Monday to discuss Lansing Chronic Wasting Disease deer hunt, WILX, Nov 13. 2017An aggressive approach to stopping the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer around Lansing will be the center of a meeting Monday night. In December the city will close select parks to allow sharpshooters to kill deer there. The DNR says the hunt is critical to determine whether Chronic Wasting Disease is spreading in Lansing deer herds. While there are hundreds of deer in the city, hunting is limited meaning few deer have been tested for the disease. “Lansing and Lansing Township are of great concern given that we’ve identified the disease north, east and west of the metro area,” said MDNR’s Chad Stewart. The removal will be conducted at night by expert sharpshooters on larger parcels of city-owned property. All deer taken will be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Antietam National Battlefield to again use sharpshooters to control deer herd, HeraldMailMedia.com, Nov 12, 2017 The National Park Service will again use experienced sharpshooters to reduce the number of white-tailed deer roaming the 3,250-acre Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg. Nortrup said managing the deer population is necessary to provide the long-term protection of the native vegetation and the historic landscape of the battlefield.

DeWitt adopts bait-and-cull deer management plan, Eagle News online, Oct 30, 2017The DeWitt Town Board has unanimously adopted a white-tailed deer management plan, which includes the use of USDA sharpshooters, and hunts could start sometime this winter. For the past six months, the DeWitt Neighborhood Deer Committee (DNDC) has been working with environmental officials and employees of the town to create a deer management plan to reduce the number of deer within the town. The document outlines the need for deer management, methods for tick management and both lethal and non-lethal deer management techniques the group has researched.

To hunt, or not to hunt? Panel debates ethics of deer population control, HV1, Oct 9, 2017While acknowledging that “there are important, often passionate current social and political controversies surrounding hunting in today’s political discourse,” Miller’s essay concluded that “hunting remains the most effective and efficient method for controlling free-ranging deer populations.” Citing a wide variety of studies, his brief rejected the options of contraception or sterilization of wild deer as far too costly (estimated at $500 to $1,000 to administer birth control to each doe, $5,000 for a vasectomy on a buck) and argued that areas with significant human populations could not support the reintroduction of large native predators such as timber wolves.

Appeals Court Hears Case Accusing Officials of Animal Cruelty for Bow-Hunting Program, Bethesda, MD, Oct 5, 2017Bethesda resident Eilene Cohhn has spent about two years challenging a deer-management policy that she believes is inhumane and unnecessary. Her representative, a staff attorney with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, argues that it’s also unlawful. “The (Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) has the right to kill deer. They don’t have the right to make them suffer before they die, if that is avoidable,” attorney Jenni James said, adding that using sharpshooters is preferable.

Ann Arbor deer cull now part of national high school ethics debate, MLive, Sept 13, 2017Huron High School senior Miguel Cisneros’s case, “The Cull,” written with help from fellow Huron students Ellie Makar-Limanov and Frank Seidl, has been selected for inclusion in the case study set featured in regional competitions in 25 states beyond Michigan leading up to the National High School Ethics Bowl.

Some Ohio towns let bow hunters kill urban deer to cull herds, Columbus Dispatch, Sept 5, 2017It’s a balancing act as officials work to reduce the number of deer collisions with vehicles and damage to landscaping and crops while also maintaining a healthy deer herd. Licking County leads the state in archery hunting, with 1,541 deer taken by crossbow hunters and 1,005 by vertical bow hunters in 2016, according to ODNR. The number of deer-vehicle collisions has been trending lower, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Ohio had 26,300-plus in 2007 and only 18,427 last year.

New law allows cities to cull urban deer, but idea is DOA in Ashland, Mail Tribune, July 31, 2017 Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 373, which requires the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt a pilot program for urban deer population control, into law June 14, after it passed both the House and Senate by overwhelming margins. It takes effect Jan. 1. While the state legislature has passed a bill to set up a 12-year pilot program for the “taking” (euthanizing) of excess urban deer, Ashland Mayor John Stromberg says such action doesn’t work and the city isn’t going to do it.

Use of bows, arrows mulled to cull deer, Daily Progress, July 20, 2017While public safety and animal welfare shape the management strategies and data in the state guide, Kocka said, urban communities have been particularly concerned about keeping roads and properties clear of deer that can destroy gardens, damage personal property and, in some cases, cause death.

Fallow deer, a declared pest, culled after causing destruction on Fleurieu Peninsula, The Times, June 15, 2017“As a result of this helicopter operation, which was achieved in just under nine hours, we’ve substantially reduced the core population and with it, the breeding potential for 2017.” The helicopter shoot is one component of the deer control program on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Authorised ground shooting is also conducted in Second Valley Forest Reserve and on private properties year-round. Dr Harper said pest animals were the cause of both economic and environmental damage and she underlined the responsibilities of both private landowners and public land managers to control pest animals such as feral deer on their land.

Ottawa Hills ends deer hunt, Toledo Blade, Jan 23, 2017Ottawa Hills officials said bow hunters on Jan. 6 reached their 30-deer limit, ending for the season the effort to reduce a herd that some village residents complained damaged plant life and posed driving hazards. Voters approved the controversial measure in 2015, five years after they rejected a proposal to have sharpshooters kill the herd.

Managed archery deer hunt could thin herd at Springfield Conservation Nature Center, KY3, Oct 26, 2016The three-day managed archery-only deer hunt is scheduled for Dec. 10 – 12 and is part of an effort to control the deer population. Conservation experts say the hunt is a part of a plan to control the deer population in south Springfield, which is triple the size it’s supposed to be.

Animal advocates oppose bow hunting in Blue Hills, Holbrook, July 14, 2016Rutberg said using immunocontraception to control deer population makes the most sense in self-contained or suburban areas where hunting simply is not an option. While Rutberg agrees hunting is the best option to successfully control deer in an area like the Blue Hills, he said archery hunting is not an effective tool.

Illinois is shining star in fight against deer disease, rrstar.com, June 19, 2016 To thwart the spread of the neurological disease, transmitted mainly through deer-to-deer contact, Illinois has increased hunting opportunities and used an aggressive sharpshooter program in infected areas to thin the herd, a strategy that has frustrated many hunters.
Meanwhile, the rate of disease among adult bucks in Wisconsin is as high as 30 percent in a major CWD region where the state is using a less-aggressive strategy. Now, state officials are revisiting that plan.

Urban deer hunt application period open, ABC Region 8, June 15, 2016The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in cooperation with the Arkansas Bowhunters Association and Bull Shoals Urban Bowhunters Association, has opened the registration for 2016-17 urban deer hunts held across the state. The deadline to register for each hunt is July 31.

High deer densities near urban areas often lead to conflicts with landowners and motorists because of deer/vehicle collisions and deer destroying ornamental landscaping. Ralph Meeker, assistant deer program coordinator for the AGFC, says urban hunts have been effective tools to allow a city to reduce unwanted deer numbers without spending thousands on other methods of control.

Issue of bow-hunting deer passed by voters in 6 Northeast Ohio communities, FoxNews, Cleveland, March 6, 2016Voters in several Northeast Ohio cities approved a controversial method of tackling the over-population of deer. The issue of bow-hunting deer was passed Tuesday in all six Cleveland suburbs that placed it on the ballot.

“You have to be darn careful when you’re hitting that deer that it goes down or if that thing bolts out, it’s gonna bolt out in the street. If they want to get a sharpshooter, that they’re gonna ‘boom’ and drop that deer, I’m all for that because they do have to be culled,” Ronsky said.

Michigan recently signed legislation created the Hunters Helping Landowners Program, which gives hunters the opportunity to voluntarily enroll and indicate two counties where they would like to hunt antlerless deer on private lands.

  • U-M biologists support Ann Arbor deer cull, Michigan News, Jan 14, 2016A University of Michigan evolutionary biologist says he and many of his U-M colleagues support the city of Ann Arbor’s plans to kill up to 100 deer this winter, calling the cull “a positive step toward ecological sustainability.”

    U-M botanists have long noted declines in native plants that deer favor, Dick said. In a 2015 study, an ecological team surveyed browsing impacts in Ann Arbor’s Bird Hills Nature Area and found browsing damage in 80 percent of the tree saplings.
  • Deer hunt under review in Peapack-Gladstone, Bernardsville News, June 16, 2016Borough Council members on Tuesday, June 14, discussed whether to continue the program as is, disband it, or keep it in some other form. The reason? The program, initiated in the fall of 2001, has significantly reduced the local herd.

    This year the council budgeted $6,500 for its deer control program. John O’Neill, the borough’s former superintendent of public works who continues to manage the program, told Mayor William Muller and council members that more than 1,000 deer have been harvested by bow hunters since the program began.
  • The Deer Population Is Out Of Control, So Communities Are Culling, Newsy, Dec 6, 2015The U.S. deer population is about 60 times greater than it was in the ’90s, and some communities worry those numbers could cause more car accidents.
  • Deer Hunting: An Effective Management Tool, Maryland Department of Natural ResourcesA recent survey by the Howard County Deer Task Force verified citizen support for regulated deer hunting. Citizens rated various deer management strategies on a scale from not acceptable (0) to most acceptable (5), and each strategy was given a total average score. Regulated hunting (3.05) and experimental deer contraception (3.14) topped the list of all potential strategies. A 2003 survey by Responsive Management regarding Maryland citizen’s hunting attitudes also found broad-based support for all legal hunting, with 78 percent of Maryland citizens approving of legal hunting.
  • Archery Deer Removal Program to Launch on Saturday, Centreville Independent, Sept 5, 2014
    Fairfax County, VA: The archery program is one of three different methods employed by the county to control the deer population. A managed hunt program uses volunteer shotgun and muzzleloader hunters and the police sharpshooter program is done by county officers and SWAT team members. The county removed 1.005 deer from public parks last year, about 85 percent through the archery program.
  • Highland deer management program yielded 33K meals for homeless, KSL.com, Utah, Aug 3, 2014Highland is approaching the second season of its two-year urban deer control pilot program, which officials said was “a resounding success” in its first year.
  • Highland deer management ‘a resounding success’, Deseret News (Utah), Aug 3, 2014
  • Cornell University culls and studies its deer herd on campus using archers and ‘trap and bolt” method, Syracuse.com, Aug 1, 2014
  • New Law: Avon Lake’s solution to its overpopulating deer problems, Action 19 News, July 22, 2014
  • Avon Lake OKs year-round deer bow hunting, Lorain County Chronical Times, July 15, 2014
  • Radnor BOC deems winter deer cull a success, Mainline Media News, July 15, 2014
  • Legal Deer Hunts in Indiana State Parks Quell White-Tailed Deer Populations,
    Design and Trend, July 10, 2014
  • Hunting gives deer-damaged forests in Indiana state parks a shot at recovery, Purdue Agriculture News, July 9, 2014
  • As Park Service Culls Deer in Washington, It Helps Charities Fill Bellies, New York Times, May 14, 2014
  • Confessions of a Sharpshooter: How a Deer Cull Actually Works, Outdoor Life, April 9, 2014
  • Illinois, Wisconsin differ in culling deer to control disease, Great Lakes Echo, Feb 26, 2014Marks compares how white-tailed deer get infected to how humans get the flu: “You do not want the flu to spread, so that is the same thing with CWD in white-tailed deer. Culling helps reduce density so it makes it harder for the disease to spread.” The disease rate increased in Wisconsin in the five years after it ended culling.
  • Cleveland Metroparks beginning region-wide deer culling, The Plain Dealer, January 20, 2014
    “I do think the Cleveland Metroparks’ deer-culling program is the most comprehensive and effective in Cuyahoga County,” said Dr. James K. Bissell, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s director of conservation.
    Dr. Terry Robison, Metroparks’ director of natural resources, said without the annual culling, the deer population in and near the park system’s 23,000 acres would return to the levels seen before the program began.”
  • Park Service: Deer culling has helped deer, Valley Forge, Philly.com, Nov 4, 2013Entering the fourth year of a controversial deer-culling operation, the National Park Service says the program not only has been good for Valley Forge National Historical Park, it’s been good for the surviving herd.
    The deer generally have become healthier, heavier, and more fertile, said Deirdre Gibson, the park’s chief of resources.
    When the program started, fewer than 1,300 deer occupied the park’s 5.3 square miles, the park service estimated, or 241 per square mile. The current population is about 49 per square mile, Gibson said, and the goal is to get it down to between 31 and 35.
  • Highland allowing archers to hunt deer within city limits, KSL.com, Oct 4, 2013 The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources approved a two-year pilot program for Highland that allows expert archers to go out and hunt deer within the city. Highland started the urban deer-hunting program two weeks ago in an effort to control the city’s disruptive and destructive deer population. About eight years ago, a bad winter drew the deer down from the mountains, and when spring came, they just stayed in the city, said Highland Mayor Lynn Ritchie. The steady increase in deer population since that winter has created a two-fold problem.
  • Keys to managing a successful archery deer hunt in an urban community: a case study, Chad M. Stewart et al, Human–Wildlife Interactions 7(1):132–139, Spring 2013Our study suggests that a managed archery program within heavily populated suburban areas can lower deer densities quickly and effectively under the right circumstances. The ability to provide access for hunters, cooperation and flexibility of state regulations, resilient community leaders, and motivated local hunters are all necessary to reduce a localized deer population within a brief time period.
  • Can controlled bow hunts reduce overabundant white-tailed deer populations in suburban ecosystems?, Ecological Modelling, 2013
  • Deer management plan for the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve will continue with cull in early 2013, Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, 2013
  • Deer Damage Management Program, Rutgers University Ecological Preserve, Dec 12, 2014The deer are causing increasing damage to the plant life and causing a danger to vehicles traveling on the perimeter roads. Over 85 deer-induced vehicle collisions in the vicinity of the EcoPreserve have been reported to police between 2010-2012. Recent vegetation inventories conducted by Rutgers University faculty and students document a change in the natural ecological characteristics of the EcoPreserve when compared to studies conducted in the 1970’s. Of major concern has been the loss of native understory shrubs, tree seedlings/saplings and wildflowers. Loss of this native vegetation represents a decline in forest ecosystem health, a loss of the overall biological diversity and enhanced vulnerability of the forest to invasion by exotic plant species.
  • If we want to protect deer, we need to shoot a few, Washington Post, Dec 14, 2012“The Science of Overabundance,” a Smithsonian book published 15 years ago, asserted that even then, many areas clearly had too many whitetails. The book, written by 42 scientists and wildlife biologists,defined overabundance this way: when deer threaten human life or livelihood, when they depress densities of favored species, when they are too numerous for their own good and when they cause ecosystem dysfunction.
  • Evaluation of Organized Hunting as a Management Technique for Overabundant White-tailed Deer in Suburban Landscapes, Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2012
  • Can controlled bowhunts reduce overabundant white-tailed deer populations in suburban ecosystems?, Mark Weckel & Robert F.Rockwell, Ecological Modelling 250 (2013) 143–154Nevertheless, the relative inefficiency of bow hunting makes sustaining large population reductions under any scenario improbable. With regards to all deer, the efficiency of Gorge Preserve bow hunters was 0.003 deer km−2.In comparison, Holsworth (1973) and Van Etten et al. (1965) found the efficiency of rifle hunters to be 0.017 and 0.010, respectively, making rifle hunting approximately 3.3 times more efficient.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of managed shotgun hunts for suburban white-tailed deer, Human–Wildlife Interactions, Spring 2011
  • Karl Malcolm: Columnist is wrong about hunters, The Cap Times, Feb 25, 2011Hunting in North America is carefully regulated to ensure that healthy numbers of hunted species are maintained. This is achieved by monitoring populations and setting harvest quotas. In some cases (deer are a classic example) reducing the herd size promotes the health of the entire ecosystem and improves habitat for rare and threatened species.
  • Sharpshooting suburban white-tailed deer reduces deer–vehicle collisions, Digital Commons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 2008, Anthony J. DeNicola, Scott C. WilliamsToo many deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) are one of the primary reasons local governments implement lethal deer management programs. However, there are limited data to demonstrate that a reduction in deer densities will result in a decline in DVCs. We conducted sharpshooting programs in 3 suburban communities to reduce deer numbers and to address rising DVCs. Annual or periodic population estimates were conducted using both helicopter snow counts and aerial infrared counts to assess population trends. Management efforts were conducted from 3 to 7 years. Local deer herds were reduced by 54%, 72%, and 76%, with resulting reductions in DVCs of 49%, 75%, and 78%, respectively. These projects clearly demonstrate that a reduction in local deer densities using lethal methods can significantly reduce DVCs.
  • Deer Culling – A Critical Tool for Conserving Local Habitat Diversity: A Green Paper by the Bird Conservation Network, Bird Conservation Network, Nov 2007This paper outlines concerns that habitat within forest preserves and other natural areas in the region are being adversely affected by widespread overpopulation of white-tailed deer, and recommends ongoing proactive efforts to reduce this deer overpopulation

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