Heal Our Planet Earth
Stop Killing Deer
Stop Killing Deer
Proof positive of failure of deer culling program at Pepper Pike OH

On my CARE-5 tour, I was deeply engaged in the anti-deer-culling campaigns in many American states and cities. On of them is Pepper Pike, Ohio. Pepper Pike employs a very cruel method known as Trap-and-Bolt, using a device called the Clover Trap, and an air gun firing a 4" bolt into the brain of the deer. The cruelty is two-fold: 1. the need to physically subdue the deer, in which process some deer have reportedly died of fright, and 2. that, with the deer thrashing violently, the bolt often misses the brain and hits the deer in the face, the nose, the ear and the eye instead. Mutli-firings are often required.

More basically, deer culling as a means of deer population management does not work. This is due primarily to the Compensatory Rebound Effect (CRE), where a sudden increase in per capita food supply to a level of abundance will max out the reproduction potential of the deer, which can cause the deer population to rebound to the pre-cull level or even higher within as little as one year.

An example: Take a 250 acre parcel of land with a biological carrying capacity of 7.5 deer (meaning does, since bucks often out-migrate). In Year 1, there were 10 does, i.e. 2.5 does above the biological carrying capacity. Only 3 does gave birth to 1 fawn each. Total year end population = 10 + 3 = 13. Year 2, the does were culled down to only 5, i.e. 2.5 below the biological carrying capacity. All 5 does gave birth to fawns, 2 with singlelets and 3 with twins, totally 8 fawns. Year end total = 5 + 8 = again 13. This proves the Compensatory Rebound Effect (CRE).

The Compensatory Rebound Effect is usually disregarded by the city planners, including those of Pepper Pike, which in itself is gross intellectual neglect leading to incompetence where the issue is concerned.

Following is an analysis of Pepper Ike, Ohio, both as proof of the soundness of the CRE, but also proof of those deer population management programs that disregard the CRE:


Analysis of Pepper Pike, Ohio

Area = 7 sq. mi. Human population = 6,000

2004 deer density (pre-cull) = 31 deer per sq. mi. (according to PP) 2004 deer population (pre-cull) = 7 x 31 = 217 deer

2004 - Cull #1 proposed: target - reduce density from 31/sm to 13/sm. It fell short, and ended with 19/sm (according to PP) meaning that about 85 deer were killed (see below)

2004 - Cull opponents said: Culling method won't work due to the Compensatory Rebound Effect. Once you start culling, you will have to keep on culling year after year ad infinitum.

2004 PP city's response: Once the 13 deer per square mile target has been met, the culling program will stop.

2004 Cull #1 proceeded.

2005 deer density (post Cull #1) = 19 deer per sq. mi. (according to PP) 2005 deer population (post Cull #1) = 7 x 19 = 133 deer Therefore, Cull #1 killed 217 - 133 = 84 deer

2005-10-31 - PP mayor Akers sent out a public letter proposing Cull #2: target - to reduce density from 19/sm to 13/sm, quota should be about 45 deer.

2005 - Culling opponents asked: Once the target is met, the culling program will end?

2005 - PP's response (not verbatim): We repeat. Once the target is met, the culling program will end.

2005 - Culling opponents asserted: We predicted that the culling will not end even if the 13/sm target is met, and specifically predict that in PP there will be a Cull #3 in 2006, and a Cull #4 in 2007.

2005 - PP's response: We repeat. Once the target of about 13 deer per square mile (10 - 15) has been met, the culling program will end.

2005 - Culling opponents re-asserted: We'll see about that.

2006 according to PP's formula, deer density (post Cull #2) should be 13 deer per sq.mi. 2006 according to PP's formula, deer population (post Cull #2) should be 7 x 13 = 91 deer.


2006 - Cull #3, still targeting 13/sm, did come to pass. Deer killed (#?)


2007 - Mayor Akers's letter proposes Cull #4, still targeting 13/sm....

2007 - Culling opponents say: Mayor Akers, WE TOLD YOU SO!


2008-1 - Cull #4 about to proceed, Cull #5 already on the mental horizon.

2008-01 - Culling opponents rest their case.

2008-01 - Verdict from Canada: PP's culling program is a total failure. The proof is in the continuation of the program itself. An alternative non-lethal plan, involving the use of immuno-contraception, is called for.


Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

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