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Deer on Birth Control?

Posted Jul 11, '13 at 5:35pm

Getoffmydangle

Getoffmydangle

148 posts

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?

 

Posted Jul 11, '13 at 5:49pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,941 posts

Knight

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.

 

Posted Jul 11, '13 at 6:54pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

8,090 posts

Moderator

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.

 

Posted Jul 12, '13 at 2:13am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,941 posts

Knight

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.

 

Posted Jul 12, '13 at 4:02am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,667 posts

Knight

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.

 

Posted Jul 12, '13 at 6:13pm

aknerd

aknerd

1,275 posts

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.

 

Posted Jul 12, '13 at 6:23pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,941 posts

Knight

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.

 

Posted Jul 13, '13 at 1:51am

partydevil

partydevil

5,087 posts

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..

 

Posted Jul 13, '13 at 2:44am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,941 posts

Knight

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..

 

Posted Jul 13, '13 at 6:32am

partydevil

partydevil

5,087 posts

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.

 
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