We have a small herd of whitetail deer who regularly visit our lawn because they think it’s a salad bar. They’re all over the neighborhood because the city apparently doesn’t have a consistent deer population management plan. I don’t know anything about the animals, other than what I care to look up on the internet.
We saw several bucks the yesterday. One of them was missing an antler. It might have been lost in a fight with another buck.
As far as we could tell, most of the deer seemed pretty healthy, although I guess you can’t really tell which ones might have chronic wasting disease just by looking at them.
One animal looked like it might have suffered an injury, possibly from a buck. The lesions looked like they might be healing.
I guess this time of year, they would be molting. That probably explains why some of them look scraggly.
Sena taps on the windows and orders them off the property. That doesn’t work. Sometimes they look up at you like they know you’re staring at them—but they usually ignore you and go back to munching on your lawn.
I wonder if I’d feel differently about culling the whitetail deer if I watched hunters actually cull them—or kill them. The word “culling” actually sounds like a nicer version of “killing.” The definition of culling is the reduction in the population of wild animals by “selective slaughtering.”
The origin of the word “cull” is interesting. It comes from the Latin verb colligere, meaning “to gather.” In general, it means to collect a group of animals into separate groups: one to keep and one to kill. Usually, it’s about killing the weak and sick ones.
On the other hand, the origin of the word “kill” seems to be obscure. Of course, it means to strike, hit, put to death. It might derive from an Old English word, “cwellan,” which means to murder, or execute.
Cwellan, cull, kill. I think it’s a coincidence they sound similar. None of them sound like “Bambi.” When me and my brother were little, we had a toy record player that played a simplified version of the Disney classic movie, Bambi. It had either a little storybook that came with it or a little slide show. It got a lot of use. One slide showed a shadowy image of a big stag. Eventually the record got stuck on a place that cried over and over, “Man!”
Maybe that’s why the city doesn’t have a whitetail deer culling plan.