Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
ARTICLE from the Summer 2007 Issue
Activism Works: The Howard County, Maryland, Deer Culling Battle
By Jennifer Grill
Ann Selnick, County Executive Ken Ulman, and Jennifer
On July 18, 2007, we met
with County Executive Ken Ulman for a meeting concerning the managed deer
hunts taking place in Howard County, Maryland. The four of us: Ann Selnick
(President of Animal Advocates of Howard County), Joseph Lamp (Wildlife
Advisory Commissioner for the Department of Natural Resources & Member of
NRA, Don Elroy (Director of Wildlife Advocacy for the Humane Society of the
United States), and myself (Spokesperson for Animal Advocates of Howard
County) met with County Executive Ken Ulman.
Unexpectedly, he invited a
member of the Department of Recreation & Parks (the department that handles
the managed hunts).
We presented Mr. Ulman
with a brief summary of the deer situation in Maryland and how wildlife
agencies brought the white-tailed deer here and re-located them throughout
Maryland to promote large game hunting. We then discussed the typical myths
and facts about deer (i.e. disease transmission, vehicle-deer collisions,
homeowner losses, ecological carrying capacity, CRE, etc). We also brought
up several other issues that the average constituent might be concerned
about such as firearm safety. We showed Mr. Ulman the bow hunting wounding
We also discussed how for
several years Howard County has engaged in a deer-kill program (the managed
hunts – which are a combination of firearms, bow and arrow, and
“sharpshooter,” AKA hired assassin) that is not addressing the real issue.
While the formulator of the program has pronounced the program a success,
the primary problems have not been resolved. Even more troubling is the fact
that the problem has gotten worse while we have been told “all is well.” We
informed him that the decision makers are hunters, and the Department of
Recreation & Parks – Head of Deer Management in Howard County is not only a
hunter but is the hired assassin – a clear conflict of interest.
We also educated Mr. Ulman
about a survey that was sent out to the citizens of Howard County regarding
the managed deer hunts. The survey was preceded by a meeting held by Phil
Norman, who happens to be a preacher and a wonderful speaker. He
demonstrated how he believed the lethal option was the solution to our
overpopulation of deer. It was not only a very biased but also inspiring
meeting. This event was followed by a survey that had questions geared
toward homeowner losses and fears. The conclusion was that 75% of homeowners
wanted the hunt. Several moths later, at a Recreation & Parks meeting, Phil
Norman admitted that Managed Hunt will have little if any effect on
homeowner losses. He still claimed that managed hunt was a success.
We wanted our County
Executive to understand that the formulator of this lethal program was not
only biased but is self-serving. We also impressed on everyone at the
meeting that there is a need for a new, more balanced survey after the
public is informed of the facts.
Our County Executive was
very receptive and seemed genuinely interested in learning more about
alternatives to lethal deer management. We made a very strong argument and
now Mr. Ulman is reviewing our materials. Since our meeting the Department
of Recreation & Parks removed a website link to Quality Deer Management and
replaced it with Animal Advocates. See:
Mr. Ulman told Ann Selnick
and me that he would support our efforts to inform our community on how to
co-exist with deer. We followed up our meeting with letters as well as a
separate assessment of the managed deer hunt report by the HSUS. We couldn’t
have hoped for a better, more receptive meeting, but we have a long road
ahead of us.
One of our other goals was
to cancel the 2007 – 2008 Department of Recreation & Parks Managed Deer
Hunts until accurate sentiment of community members is measured after the
public is fully informed and educated. Furthermore, we highlighted that
there is a need to convene an unbiased panel of informed individuals to
evaluate and implement known, non-lethal, and proven successful methods, and
to incorporated non-hunters in the decision making process surrounding deer
We are currently planning
a mini-conference with Anthony Marr, Peter & Anne Muller, and several other
speakers on October 25.
My next step is a meeting with the Secretary at Maryland-DNR and then
hopefully with our Governor. We have the ear of our politicians and we
intend to keep it.
Jennifer suggests that you
find out what is happening in your community with regard to culls, and write
letters to the editors, contact politicians, write flyers, and start public
information sessions. Try to stick to the facts. Most people aren’t
interested in deer, but they do care about Lyme disease, deer-vehicle
collisions, taxes, gardens, and safety. Try to stick to those points. Make
it simple and polite and try not to cast blame.
Jennifer Grill is the Wildlife Spokesperson for Animal
Advocates of Howard County. She has written an excellent response to many of
the arguments used to justify culls. Please contact Animal Advocates of
Howard County if you would like a copy e-mailed to you.
firstname.lastname@example.org and visit
their website at
WHITE DEER SLAUGHTER IN CALIFORNIA
The helicopters have been spotted and does are appearing
throughout the Point Reyes National Seashore with ear tags and
radio collars. The killings are being kept secret from the
public, but West Marin locals know that if the slaughter of the
fallow and axis deer has not yet begun, we are only days away
now from the first killings.
WE URGE YOU TO GO TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE AND
CONTACT THE NAMES GIVEN:
NO NEW JERSEY BEAR HUNT THIS YEAR!!!
As we were going to print, last minute good news came our
way. The announcement came from Stuart Chaifetz, Director,
Animal Protection PAC,