Dear Buffalo News:
RE: "Don't imperil people to protect animals" (2/19/04),
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.
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration also stated that most
deer/car collisions happen during hunting season.
Collision numbers are manipulated to promote 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
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 a pro-hunting column in The Buffalo News ("Goal of
Pennsylvania hunt is a bigger herd," By Michael Levy, 9/16/01),
hunters admit using hunting to increase animal populations.
The article states, "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. and my job is to show the public that hunting is
that can actually improve the herd's size and health,' says elk biologist
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
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.
www.all-creatures.org/cash if you would like
to learn more about destructive wildlife management practices.
Susan Gordon, Representative
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
New Paltz, NY 12561