I saw a very thoroughly researched article the other day about the issue of deer population management in Little Village, a monthly news and culture magazine. You get an idea of the conflict between deer and people when you read the title of the article, which contains the gentle term, “Rats with hooves.”
I was reminded of it when Sena yanked the tall grasses out of her garden recently. Later, I could hear her tapping on the windows and yelling at the deer who could now see the garden is actually a salad bar.
I have lost count of the number of deer who ask me to light their cigarettes for them after they breed on our front lawn.
And I made a video in which they cavort and chew their way across our back yard on their way to parties. For some reason, it’s gotten over 1,280 views as of this writing (8/11/2022), and got about a 1,000 in one day.
I’m not clear on exactly why deer management by bow-hunting is such a failure. Iowa City has contracted with an outside company which can cull the population by the hundreds using sharp shooters who apparently do this for a living. I guess bow hunters see this as a form of recreation.
I’m ambivalent about people killing deer. On the other hand, a deer did run into Sena while she was driving the car a few years ago. They can leave a pretty good dent and can even kill motorists.
The Little Village article quotes somebody who said that neighbors call deer “1,200-pound rats with hooves.”
That sounded pretty heavy to me. I looked it up on the web and the average deer weighs a little over 100 pounds. If they’re seeing something that big in their yards, they might be confusing a moose for a deer. And that means we’ve got an even bigger problem.
There are other ways to control the population besides shooting them. I learned that you can surgically sterilize them. It costs about $1,000 per animal. Would these be veterinarians who might call their clinic, Pay to Spay?
The other way might be to introduce natural predators, such as wolves, into the areas where deer are making themselves a nuisance. Collateral damage could become an issue during backyard cookouts. And has anybody considered the risk of werewolf contamination?
Could we round up the deer and relocate them to a wilderness where wolves and other natural predators could control their population? I won’t mention the name of such a place, but it starts with the letter A-L-A-S-K-A.
Could Bigfoot get involved somehow? Maybe, if scientists could come up with a way to alter the deer genetic code to make them smell like beef jerky.
According to the article, the application for participating in the bow-hunt season runs through October 21, 2022. Property owners can fill out an application to allow them on their land. Anybody up for shish kabob at their cookout?