ForumsWEPRDeer on Birth Control?

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Getoffmydangle
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Getoffmydangle
152 posts
Jester

This cracks me up and it seems pretty wierd:

A town in NY is planning on putting their local wild deer population on birth control to reduce their numbers/keep them from growing.
I don't live there or know the area, but c'mon guys! This seems very silly. What is wrong with hunting and eating them? Isn't that the 'traditional' method of population control?

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HahiHa
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HahiHa
7,109 posts
Grand Duke

Wow.. well if they have the time and money...? But yeah, usually you just use hunters to regulate the population, like they say in the intro.

Freakenstein
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Freakenstein
9,554 posts
Bard

Deer population sky high? Get the government to pay for Indiana residents to drive over there to hunt.

Introduce predators to the environment to regulate it. Too many deer in the community can be a serious strain on Producers.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Grand Duke

Introduce predators to the environment to regulate it.

Only safe if the predator is a native one. Have you seen the mess the Australians got with the introduction of the Aga toad in the 1930s? Better stop hunting native predators than introduce new ones. Or do the hunting yourself.
MageGrayWolf
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MageGrayWolf
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Blacksmith

Introduce predators to the environment to regulate it.


Predators that would go after a deer could also be harmful to a human. Even if it was native.

We in essence took over the role of predator when we moved into these areas where their are deer populations.
aknerd
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aknerd
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Shepherd

Predators that would go after a deer could also be harmful to a human. Even if it was native.

But on the other hand, a few lions here and there would certainly make NY an even more interesting place.

More seriously now:
Putting deer (and other critters as well) on birth control is nothing new, and is actually a rather tried-and-true population control method. But, why not do something that would seem to be effective? Surely, if we can administer birth control, we can administer poison? Or why not just hunt them (you may ask)?

Well, poison is just bad PR. Also, you run into the problem where the poison might stay in the environment, or might be ingested by something other than deer (like you your pet dog). Birth control (which in the case on deer is typically an immuno-contraceptive) is a much more host-specific method.

Onto hunting. The simple answer is that in most situations where contraceptives are used, the deer population is in/near an urban location where it wouldn't be a great idea to start shooting off guns. As anyone who has ever been outside on the east coast knows, deer really really like the suburban environment (garden fresh food + no predators).

The longer answer is that, as non-intuitive as it might seem, hunting doesn't really reduce deer populations*. This is because deer populations tend to be resource limited, and because most hunters tend to go after male deer (bucks). Removing a buck from the population doesn't reduce the size of the next generation, because there are still plenty of bucks to impregnate the does. Indeed, hunting does doesn't even have as large of an effect as you think it might, because you are also increasing the amount of resources available to the remaining does. This increases the survivorship of the offspring of the does that were not hunted.

Sterilization, however, directly reduces the population size of the next generation. Furthermore, because the sterile does are still consuming food, they are taking resources away from the fertile does, thus making their offspring potentially less nourished. Its rather sinister actually.

*I am talking about recreational hunting here. When deer populations are actually managed using hunting, professional sharpshooters are employed. They have a much higher success rate, and can be directed to target does. This is actually the most cost effective method of controlling deer in large areas where sterilization would probably fail.
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Grand Duke

The simple answer is that in most situations where contraceptives are used, the deer population is in/near an urban location where it wouldn't be a great idea to start shooting off guns.

How about bow and arrow? (this is no joke)

I am talking about recreational hunting here. When deer populations are actually managed using hunting, professional sharpshooters are employed. They have a much higher success rate, and can be directed to target does. This is actually the most cost effective method of controlling deer in large areas where sterilization would probably fail.

That's what I mean when I say hunting to control population. Professional forest wardens who keep an eye on that.
partydevil
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partydevil
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How about bow and arrow? (this is no joke)

arrows are still deadly. guess some sleeping darts or so will be better in such places.
if it somehow does hit a human, then they at least wont die..
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Grand Duke

Oh, arrows are deadly, I know. I was thinking more because of the sound of guns, it would be better to use silent arrows. But if the issue was the lethality, then ok..

partydevil
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partydevil
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Bard

i dont see the noise as a problem really.
people would be informed about the hunt on deers in their area for the sake of population control. so everyone knows what the gun shots would be about. it's just for a period of time untill the population is under a certain number.
after they reached that number the hunt to control the population has to stop.

partydevil
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partydevil
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Bard

also can there be made a agrrement between the state (or who ever gets the job of shooting them) and the residents of said area. that the hunter will only hunt in the area when most people are out from work or school. leaving the moments where people are home gun noise free. =P

aknerd
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aknerd
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How about bow and arrow? (this is no joke)

Yeah, bow hunting is typically allowed closer to residential areas and/or for longer seasons. Not because of the noise issue, but because bow hunters have to be much closer to their target, and take more time to shoot. This makes it much less likely for them to mistake some kid in a brown jacket for a deer.

The problem with using bow hunting for population control is the obvious one- there aren't that many bow hunters out there. I live in pretty big hunting areas, and I don't think I know more than five bow hunters (who hunt regularly). The other problem is that the bow hunters have to be pretty close to the deer, meaning the effective "kill range" they can cover in a day is much smaller than someone hunting with a rifle. So, this would only work in situations where the range of the deer is very limited, which is exactly the situation where sterilization is most effective.
MageGrayWolf
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MageGrayWolf
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Blacksmith

guess some sleeping darts or so will be better in such places.


Interesting idea. It could also be useful to prevent death from accidental shootings in general. Though would have to remove the drug from the prey after capture or slaughter.
TerminatorXM214
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TerminatorXM214
223 posts
Jester

Or, people could just kill them. I don't see a problem with using guns in an urban area. I mean, obviously not urban such as a city, but this is a small town they're doing it in.
They say it's "brilliant" yet will cost $30,000. Hunting would A) be done with private funds, the hunters would buy their own guns and ammo and B) there would be human benefit, in the form of food.

Now, I know they're not starving, and they can just buy some food, but wouldn't it be much more "brilliant" for the town government to not lose a single dollar, and for the town people to hunt, AND get nearly free food?

I don't see what the danger is in hunting in such a way, because any experienced hunter wouldn't shoot if he's likely to hit a house or person. Deer generally don't live around people. By around I mean in the same 1/8 mile. From personal experience, I know they live close to people, but they live in the woods, and will come to the people-areas to get food. Also, if it's in any way organized, you'd have town regulators saying "stay out of the woods during this time..." etc. so on and so forth. Greatly decreases accident chance.

Another thing, isn't the birth control more cruel than killing them? Animals die, are hunted, etc. That is part of their lives. Shooting a deer kills it, sterilizing it lets it live, but because it's a wild animal, you are depriving it of doing anything. Now they live to eat, sleep, and grow old.
Hunting lets the surviving ones still go on with actual life, while the dead ones, well, are dead and don't have to live a pointless life.

Every few years they could organize hunts, and that would be a much cheaper, and generally more efficient method of lowering the deer population.

partydevil
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partydevil
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Bard

Interesting idea. It could also be useful to prevent death from accidental shootings in general.

hmmm. i guess so. also why isn't the police using this instead of teasers?
(oh yea, people can be allergic to it and die =/ )

Though would have to remove the drug from the prey after capture or slaughter.

there are injections that can make a rhino stand up and walk away in 5 mins.
i'm sure we got something for us humans after were arrested or w/e. =P
Getoffmydangle
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Getoffmydangle
152 posts
Jester

The simple answer is that in most situations where contraceptives are used, the deer population is in/near an urban location where it wouldn't be a great idea to start shooting off guns.
Removing a buck from the population doesn't reduce the size of the next generation, because there are still plenty of bucks to impregnate the does.


Good info, Thanks aknerd

I guess I was thinking it was birth control as in temporary birth control, not sterilization. It makes a lot more sense if it is a permanent thing. Seems a lot less creepy too... don't know why.
I definitely prefer sterilization to poison. And I definitely wouldn't want people hunting deer outside of my house... so 'birth control' it is!
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