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CASH Courier > 2004 Spring Issue

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The C.A.S.H. Courier

HUNTING INCREASES POPULATIONS AND THUS DEER CAR COLLISIONS

Susan Gordon is an amazing letter writer. She never minces words, cuts to the quick, and her logic is impeccable. C.A.S.H. has asked Susan to take on some of the letter writing needed to respond to articles and other letters. The following letter was written in response to a letter titled, “Don’t Imperil People to Protect Animals” which argued that we can’t be soft on deer for they are causing car accidents.

Here she goes…

HUNTING INCREASES POPULATIONS AND THUS DEER CAR COLLISIONS

The Erie Insurance Company noted that the number of deer/car collisions rose nearly five times on the first day of buck season and doe season. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration also stated that most deer/car collisions happen during hunting season.

Collision numbers are manipulated to protect hunting. In 1993, The Director of the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife stated, "The actual impact of deer-auto collisions has been greatly exaggerated. This approach is invalid, because approximately half of all deer vehicle collisions do not involve any damage...Deer-vehicle collisions seldom result in personal injury."

State wildlife agencies know that hunting increases deer population and deer/car collisions. In 1978, NYS regional wildlife manager Terry Moore admitted, "We will attempt to increase the number of deer until we experience high incidences of deer-car collisions, depredation of agricultural crops becomes intolerable, and/or the effects on deer habitat begin to result." What works? Deer reflectors have been proven to reduce deer/car collisions from 60% to 100%.

[In 2001, during the time hunters were hoping to introduce elk into NYS, the Buffalo News [Michael Levy, 9/16/01) ran an article about Pennsylvania’s elk program. While it was intended to be pro-hunting, it was in fact an expose of wildlife management.]

The article stated: "The restocking of [elk]…has been so successful that there are now some worries about agricultural depredation and car-elk collisions. But that is not why the Game Commission is authorizing the first elk hunt in more than 70 years. The fact is we want to increase the elk herd significantly, and a very conservative hunting program can do that. ‘My job is to show the public that hunting is a tool that can actually improve the herd's size and health,’ says elk biologist Rawley Cogan."

Cogan: "If we reduce the herd by 14 percent, we will have a much higher replacement rate of younger, healthier specimens. It's hard to make people see that, because say 'hunting' and people think of reducing the herd, not helping it to increase." AND "We have a million deer hunters in this state who hunt that herd hard and we still have trouble keeping deer numbers in line with habitat."

The article states, "If it works, over the years, the elk herd will expand and hunting opportunities will slowly increase to continue to achieve management goals."

The "management goals" are always the same - increase the population of game species, blame the animals for the increase, and assure the public that more hunting is the only solution.

Go to www.all-creatures.org/cash  if you would like to learn more about destructive wildlife management practices.

 

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E-mail: cash@cashwildwatch.org
Anne Muller - President

 

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