Deer Slaughter at Minneapolis Water Works
Counterpoint article submitted to the Minneapolis/St. Paul
January 12, 2004
The barbaric deer slaughter at Minneapolis Water Works is
testament to the arrogance and primitive thinking of the Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources. Despite having been given options to reduce
the deer herd in a safe, humane manner, the DNR opted only to bring violence
and death upon these tame animals via the barbarity of bow hunting. This is
not a surprise to those of us who know that wildlife management is based
hunting permit fees and excise taxes on firearms and bows and arrows.
Mike Don Carlos, the DNR's wildlife research manager,
admitted that the one-day bow hunt that took place on New Year's Eve would
not resolve the perceived problem with the deer, making it clear that the
DNR is looking to make killing of the tame, caged deer at the Water Works an
Just how barbaric was the slaughter? According to a
Columbia Heights coalition of deer protectors, the deer were lured into one
area with bait piles so killers (it's a stretch to call these people
hunters) armed with bows and arrows could shoot them. To say this hunt was
like shooting fish in a barrel would be an understatement. During the
slaughter, wounded deer were seen running for their lives, sometimes ramming
themselves into the fences surrounding the Water Works property in an
attempt to escape.
These helpless animals were chased back toward the killers
where they were mercilessly slaughtered. One can only imagine the horror
experienced by these animals who previously had known only human kindness. A
doe was seen running and trying to protect her two fawns, as any mother
would do for her children, but the killers did not care about this mother's
love and slaughtered her and her babies.
Columbia Heights mayor Julienne Wyckoff has been critical
of the slaughter, acknowledging that the deer are tame and would
"practically eat from your hand and romp playfully in the fields."
Leaving the deer alone would be the best and most humane
way to manage their numbers. If there is indeed a food shortage, nature will
slow their fecundity and stabilize the herd. Killing the deer will only
increase the breeding rate - something that is music to the ears of the DNR.
This will ensure that there will be a "need" for hunting each and every year
If the Water Works wants to reduce the number of deer on
the property immediately, tranquilizing and transporting the animals is a
safe and effective way to achieve this end. The DNR routinely transports
animals when it conducts studies or "stocks" animals to increase
populations, but when transporting the animals to save their lives is
suggested, the program is suddenly deemed too risky for the deer or too
costly for the Department.
Sadly, the DNR expects the public to fall for their
deceitful statements that promote hunting as a panacea while they hide their
monetary incentive to perpetrate agonizing pain and death upon peaceful
Instead of humanely dealing the with the issue, the DNR
opted to shoot the deer with razor sharp arrows that kill by acting as
internal knives, continually cutting and tearing muscles and organs. Death
is often slow and extremely painful. In hunts across the country, many deer
are shot in the lungs, which adds suffocation to the agony. The animals,
literally, drown in their own blood.
All involved in this senseless slaughter should hang their
heads in shame.
It is tragic that so many harmless, peaceful and tame
animals will lose their lives to the violent and lethal policies of the DNR
which impact the public in so many ways. May the slaughtered deer rest in