Thin The Herd

Deer today...

Deer:  The prettiest creatures Westporters love to hate.

Soon they (the deer) will have a lot more to worry about than tall fences and repellents.

An organization called Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance is on their tail.  Behind the Bambi-sounding name lies a group with a mission.  They may be to the animal world what Americans for Immigration Control is to humans.

The Deer Alliance has collected over 230 signatures — with 100 more on their website.  Their petition to the RTM will be discussed on Tuesday.

It reads:

We the undersigned electors of the Town of Westport request the RTM and First Selectman to create a plan for the control of the Town’s deer herd, the current size of which threatens our health, safety, environment and quality of life.

The Alliance is not pro-deer.  Their site cites Lyme Disease, vehicle collisions and ravaged backyards.  Faced with those facts, deer don’t have a leg to stand on.

The Alliance then refers to a study by “two PhD’s from the Department of Health Policy and Management of New York Medical College” estimating the annual cost of deer to Westport at $8,934,162.

And, the Alliance says, “this is conservative.”

(Wondering where that money goes?   It’s hard to tell — there was no direct link to the study — but nosing around the site I found references to “vehicle accidents with deer, landscape losses, tick and deer spray programs, medical expenses due to tick-borne diseases in residents and their pets, special ed costs for schools with Lyme affected kids, stormwater damage abatement due to erosion from loss of the understory.”

Costs that are impossible to estimate include “quality of life issues, lost work days, higher auto and health insurance premiums for individuals and towns, and loss of income from nature centers suffering from environmental degradation with the loss of fragile plant and bird species etc.)”

The Alliance seeks “a safe, humane and effective program to begin to confront the problem.”  Assistance and advice is available, they say, “from our State DEP officers and leaders in our sister towns that have already implemented deer management plans.  These people are ready, willing and able to help us.”

Then the Alliance moves in for the kill.

...gone tomorrow? (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

They note:  “This is not a new issue for Westport.  The ‘no hunting’ ordinance, unique to our Town in Connecticut, has been debated over and over.  But the problem does not go away.  If countries in southern Africa can manage their burgeoning elephant populations, surely we can confront our own animal menace here.”

So how do Africans manage their elephants?

According to the Species Survival Commission, methods include “culling, translocation, range expansion, manipulation of water sources, and contraception.”

I’m not sure where we would translocate deer to.  We can’t expand their range or manipulate their water.  And I can’t even conceive of deer (let alone elephant) condoms.

Which leaves culling.

The Alliance cuts to the chase in a section of its website headed “Deer Population Reduction.”

Links lead readers to articles like “Deer management study points to hunting as solution” and “For Environmental Balance, Pick Up a Rifle.”  The rifle article — by Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times — takes a balanced view of the issue.  In fact, Kristoff says, “hunting is as natural as bird-watching.”  So much for the liberal media.

But Westport is, as we all know, special.  Discharging firearms — even bow hunting — is prohibited everywhere in town.  According to a police spokesman, the only hunting allowed is waterfowl — and that’s below the high-water line.  Plus, you’ve got to approach your prey by boat.

The Alliance seems ready to change — or at least challenge — that.  They don’t see this as a hunting-rights issue; to them it’s about safety (Lyme disease, vehicular strikes) and cents (at least $8,934,162 a year).

So what’s ahead:  New regulations?  Culled Killed herds?  Specified times when parents will be warned to keep kids indoors?

Who knows?  Only one thing is certain:  When the RTM takes this issue up, all sides of the issue will fire away.

152 responses to “Thin The Herd

  1. Many a morning I am surprised by a tall, lanky figure stepping gracefully across the backyard, just feet from me; at first I think it is a very large yet thin dog, the color of caramel.

    I realize it’s a deer and feel a surge of excitement and wonder. If I really ponder that reaction, it comes from growing up in a deer-less suburb and only seeing these beauties in the Poconos at Easter. And then on trips to VT and NH.

    The face of a deer means purity to some, target to others, zoo tenant or nuisance to many. I feel sad when I see dead deer on the side of the road, but also care about who else may have been hurt. At the same time, we are the ones who took away habitat to run our giant machines all over the land.

    If this were happening in some parts of the world, wouldn’t they shoot them with tranquilizer guns and tag them and relocate them or something? Maybe not.

    I have no answers, but one question.

    Why do we love paintings, photos, cards depicting deer in the wood? And does it depend where that wood is?

    • theoneandonlyBA

      Just so you know, as someone who grew up in the Poconos… we do hunt deer, have been for YEARS, and although they make a great stew… hunting the deer will not make them all go away as long as you are smart about quotas (how many each registered hunter can kill in a season).

      I would suggest trying deer meat sometime. It is much better for you than over processed beef that you see on your grocer’s shelf.

  2. Good Morning Dan,

    Here’s something to think about.

    Several years ago I recall reading a report on deer migration in Connecticut (I do not recall the source) which noted that before man and woman came here, the deer’s natural migration pattern during the seasons was from north to south–following the browse, the grasses, etc. The range was from the hills of Litchfield in the summer to the warmer, more lush shores of Long Island Sound as winter came.

    Now, came the Merritt Parkway in the 1930s and that path was blocked. Then I-95, I-84 and the deer were trapped in east-west corridors and so, today cannot do what they should be doing and are, well, trapped by our own doing and their populations are increased and to us, seemingly exaggerated.

    The obvious solution is to tear up the freeways and send everyone back to England.

    Karl Decker

    • You’re welcome here any time (though we might be a bit short on space for all 310 million of you)… please just bring your constitution, your guns and we can finally finish the declaration of independence properly by liberating the Old Country!

    • awesome. I like that answer.

    • The Dude Abides

      Mr Decker: Nice to see your name. Now on that B+ I got on “Tricks of the Trade” in Honors English ’65-66, would you consider raising the grade???

  3. From a New Zealand website: “Farmed venison is a culinary treat. It is a natural, tender and healthy meat with a mild distinctive flavour and smooth texture, which lends itself to many cooking styles and cuisines. With virtually no fat, calories or cholesterol, venison has the advantage of being extremely healthy without sacrificing eating pleasure. ”


  4. What the deer need is a superhero deer that can fight back. It could be SuperDeer or something, and save them from the humans!

  5. They thinned the herd here in Kansas at a local park area this past year and 2009. Nearly all the meat was processed and given to the local charities and shelters to feed the poor and needy.

  6. As an animal lover, this post left my eye twitching a bit.

    But as a realist, I undestand that some species’ populations can get out of control and start threatening the ecosystem they inhabit. Just in the last decade or so here in Georgia, the white-tailed deer population exceeded ridiculous numbers, so the [government] stepped in and lifted several bans, altered regulations, and allowed any hunter from anywhere in the state to come and game hunt, trap, etc.

    But guns, traps, and poison are not our only options! As you said, contraception is one method — NO, it’s not condoms, though that’s a funny albeit disturbing concept. Contraception for animals can be delivered via “the pill”, our can be ground up into feed or salt licks for wild deer to ingest.

    I kind of like Karl Decker’s idea. Tear up the freeway, send the humans home, and then you’d have natural population control from the wolves and coyotes that would spring back up.

    But as I said I am a realist, and we humans are far to selfish to uproot ourselves for something as “silly” as environmental progress and development.

  7. Hmmm… Who was there first, the cars or the deer? Maybe we should thin ‘that’ herd (the cars).

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  8. no authoritative list of threats to our health, safety, enviornment and quality of life, give as much weight to the local deer population as the (overly dramatic, and unbearably silly) Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance describe and people who want to hunt and eat them because they enjoy the kill.

    I would also like to see a background check of each signature on that list; maybe some of them pose more of a threat to our ‘quality of life’

  9. Yes, deer are a problem. With no natural predators, their population in urban areas has exploded. It’s bad for the deer too as overcrowding leads to Chronic Wasting Disease making them unfit for human consumption. I think the best idea in all urban areas is a controlled hunt each year, providing the meat to homeless shelters. Yes, the deer were here first, but we aren’t going away, so management should be the answer as with any livestock.

    • Being unfit for human consumption is bad for the deer?


    • “Yes, the ~humans~ were here first, but we aren’t going away, so management should be the answer as with any livestock.”

      I wonder, how folks would feel if creatures from outer space were to come and hunt us. The Twilight Zone’s episode “To Serve Man” comes to mind…

    • Wolves.

      • I second this. Reintroduce the predators and learn hows to live with them. We ought to be treating this planet and its natural systems like a temple, not a garbage dump.

    • I second the “Being unfit for human consumption is bad for the deer?” comment. I think you may be confusing what’s bad for us and what’s bad for the deer.

      Also, as for the “they were here first, but we aren’t going away, so management should be the answer as with any livestock”. I didn’t realize deer were livestock? I was under the impression that they were wild animals, and timid ones at that? Maybe I’m thinking of a different animal…………or maybe you’re just willing to do whatever is the easiest solution for people, who as you mentioned came into the deers habitat, regardless of what that means to the animals. I mean, surely they cause us more problems than we cause them, right? Hmmmm.

  10. I recall seeing a deer on the shoulder of the road when I was driving out in the country. That’s why you have to drive slow at dusk, because that’s when they come out to feed. It didn’t jump out in front of me, but I could tell by the look in its eye that it was considering it.

    The Codger

  11. On the contraception versus hunting issue (to simplify it a little).

    One option costs a good bit of money which is a drain on taxpayers and must carry on long term to have any useful effect. It is an ongoing cost.

    The other option provides a source of food, income, revenue for the state/town finances through permits, creates jobs and has potential for tourism and more besides.
    It too must carry on long term to have any useful effect so is an ongoing generator of income.

    Really it should be a no-brainer.

    I’m a city-kid who’s always fascinated when I see deer (a rare sight around here even though there are a few not far away), have never been hunting and living in England have never so much fired a gun. Not exactly a hunting/gun-nut and I can see the issue is a simple one.

    The deer are a problem. The only question is whether managing the population will be a drain on or a boost for the economy of the town.

  12. The Dude Abides

    Well, Wooger has stirred the pot (excuse the pun as I haven’t had my morning tote as of yet) once again. Growing up here in the 50’s & 60’s, I never saw a deer. Thus, I can only assume that it is the overdevelopment here in Westport that has forced them to nibble off the ends of my prized rose bushes, cross immediately in front of my car at 11:32 p.m. on North Avenue each night and spread the nasty Lyme disease causing severe pain to many. So we people have caused the problem and I am sure the deer are not thrilled about dodging cars, running into deer fences and having ticks all over their bodies. But I concur with this Immigration Alliance: we should deny any deer “green” cards or amensty and deport them to their native lands. Perhaps the deer will sue, like the Indians, and place liens on all the houses that occupy their former feeding grounds. Then we can tear down some of these ugly macmansions and have some grazing room. Meanwhile, if the RTM moves anything like our Congress, the deer should be safe for another 30 years or so.

  13. Up in Western New York where I am originally from we have a very high deer population which are feeding on the farm lands. We have to have deer hunting season every year because if not, all of the crops would be destroyed. Sometimes it’s good to cut back. Everyone who hunts up there though eats the venison and doesn’t waste the deer afterwards, so it’s not like we are just randomly killing animals and leaving them around.

  14. Innocent Bystander

    When I was stationed in Key West in the early 70’s, the deer were starving to death because of overpopulation of their breed. Government officials allowed for “open season” on the deer and it was like the Wild West. People were walking up to deer and shooting them with .45 revolvers.

  15. I can understand the need for this. Still, even if rules for hunting are put in place to prevent total destruction of the deer population there is no guarantee they will be followed.
    Also, and this is just an opinion, I believe it is the deer that WE have become a nuisance to. Not the other way around. We need to start having more respect for nature.

  16. There is always something! Believe me, I LOVE deer, I think they are as close to bambi as they can be, when I was recently visiting PA from AZ, I had to have my cousin pull over every time we saw a deer so I could take a picture. I think they are so beautiful. But having just heard my nephew recently contracted Lyme’s Disease, I am beside myself with worry. We have to control the animals. The problem is REAL. So, this having been said, let people hunt. The people in the country use the food, they EAT it. So back off people. Let nature take its course, you’d think the “Green” people would be happy animals were living the right way and being hunted the natural way, not kept in pens and treated cruelly!

  17. NOOOOOOOOOOO. It’s OUR fault that we’re in THEIR habitat, not THEIR fault that they’re in OUR habitat. Ridiculous humans. What’s next on the way to destroying the earth?

    • The Dude Abides

      You got it right! We are destroying this planet and to ismygalaxy: when deer start packing guns, then it is hunting. Otherwise, it is just killing.

  18. I don’t hunt, but I love hunters. Every deer they take down is one less that’s going to prance out in front of my car tonight when I’m driving home from work.

    And venison is so tasty! I love it ground up in chili.

    When I was younger, you only really had to worry about them during mating season. Now they’re a year-round problem. I see them standing in the ditch next to the road all the time, pondering if they should leap into traffic — now? Now? How ’bout now?

    I agree their population is out of control, and thinning the herd seems like a good idea. Not total annihilation, just bring it down to a reasonable level.

  19. u

  20. Here in Victoria BC we have a similiar problem with nearly 2000 rabbits hopping around our University. While we all keep talking about what to do the problem grows and grows and grows. Bambi and Bunnies – everbody loves them.

    • Josey Carmichael

      Rabbits have far more sex than deers.

    • Hey, I was there a few years back. Those little bunnies are really cute!
      My suggestion at the time was to serve them up in the College Cafeteria. (Though they don’t really taste like chicken.)

  21. Unfortunately the public at large has the view that hunting is mass extermination. Once hunting is allowed, then hordes of men in camouflage shoot everything to extinction. But this is fiction and it’s far from the truth.

    The truth is that today’s hunter respects the land and the animals. He or she abides by the quotas that are set by a State’s Department of Environmental Conservation. And they fulfill a role that at one time would have been carried out by predators, predators that we have crowded out or killed.

    I don’t hunt, but my family has a lot of hunters in it. Everyone of them has stories of where they were deer hunting, duck hunting, or turkey hunting; and they never took the shot. The animal was wrong to kill. It could have been they reached their quota for that sex or age of animal. Or it might have been they couldn’t identify it correctly and rather than take the chance they let it be.

    I wish more people in the public were aware of the humane aspects of hunting and not be so quick to stereotype the hunter and what hunting is about.

  22. The MSM’S are out in force. What a load of twaddle. They are deer, not people. Why is it OK to kill rats but not deer? Where is the campaign to save the rats? Where are the bleeding hearts for rats? What hypocrisy.

  23. Deer…rats with hooves

  24. They should all be eliminated, I’m doing my part by hitting 4 in the last 4 years with my car. I really need to switch to a bow.

    • Who is your insurance carrier???

      • AIG which became 21st which was bought by Farmers, heck if I know anymore 🙂

        People around here feed the things so they are good hunting, it has to contribute to the high rates in WV.

    • John McCarthy

      Where do you drive? As of this minute I have lived my life driving around Westport (20-30 years, depending on how accurate you want to be) without having hit a deer. Another car and a few small rodent like creatures, but not a deer.

      • I live between Morgantown and Fairmont, WV. I used to work overnights, so I was among the first on the road at sunrise and dusk. I had not hit one since I got on day shift until a week ago when one just flew out of the woods in front of me, and instead of continuing across the road it turned and tried to run away, and I hit it in the butt as a skidded to a stop.

        I have been lucky that nothing has been that bad damage wise, the worst was $800 for a new hood.

        • John McCarthy

          OK. Wanted to know if your experience was based in Westport. Seems like this post has received a lot of attention from people not from the Westport area. Sorry to hear about your string of bad experiences.

          • This post was listed as as a “featured story” by WordPress, the platform used by the “06880” blog (and 10 million others). That’s why it was seen by so many people outside the greater Westport area.

  25. thekarmamortgage

    People suck! I agree with all the comments stating that the deer were here first and we became a nuisance to them. Even though I’m a vegetarian, I think unfortunately that hunting might be a temporary solution to this man-made “problem” only on the premise that the deer will starve and not have quality lives when there are so many of them. At the same time, contraceptives should be used. For whoever said that this is costly to taxpayers and a long-term deal, it also is apparently costly to have an overpopulation of deer.
    Aside from all that, it is interesting that people get up in arms, so to speak, over Bambi and bunnies, because they’re cute. What about the pigs, cows, chickens, lambs, sheep, and turkeys we kill every year to supply our unneccessary meat industry? People don’t even hunt them, they just kill them. Worst, people say we need steak, chicken, porkchops, etc. for protein. I’m wandering off topic a little, but the whole article with all they sympathy for deer because they’re cute, made me think of our larger food crisis. I still think people suck!

    • There is no “larger food crisis.” What nonsense. I bet some deer think that deers suck. BTW the rats were probably here before the deer, for all the difference that makes.

  26. Hypochondriac Constipation

    Most biologists believe that all animals were descendant from one fossil of which they have no idea. Thus, rats and deer may well be related.
    The problem at hand, however, is systematic to the overall disgeneration of certain species. I am sure our RTM will take it under advisement and proceed to spend large amounts of our tax money to bail out the deer.

    • If the deer can demonstrate that they are aged, Joseloff will build them affordable Deer condos so they don’t all move to Florida . The rats may be forced to fend for themselves.

  27. Never ran over a deer, never want to, but the deer around here aren’t too bad. We have open hunting seasons yearly though, and so I think that’s part of it. I hardly ever see deer dead by the roadside, maybe our deer are smarter… I hope.

  28. Well I haven’t read everyone’s comments, but as someone from Colorado, we know all to well the problem with an increased amount of deer. Fortunately we have options other than “humane relocating” which is very very expensive and pointless if there is nothing to naturally keep the population under control. Culling herds out here is “normal” and accepted and even though I am not pro-gun I fully support hunting! Frankly, if the herds aren’t kept under control diseases will come in and control the herd that way, which will then affect other wildlife, pets, and perhaps humans (yep, a few deer out here have confirmed cases of rabies). Great article, doesn’t seem like anyone is willing to back down, so it’ll just sit with Committees and meetings for years until it’s too late.

  29. If we do not do anything. It would extinction.

  30. The comments scolding humans in favor of nature are silly. News flash: human begins are a part of nature. And nature is not some blushing virgin ravaged by the cruel, alien forces of mankind. It can be pretty merciless, too. Environmentalism is well and good but at the end of the day, it has to be for our own benefit – any other reason is just silly. Good and bad are human creations, real inasmuch as suffering and pleasure are real – but to impose a simplistic morality on the natural world is pure sentimentalism; if anything smacks of dragging human values where they don’t belong, it’s that, not hunting (which more or less mimics animal behavior).

    • Princeton '82

      According to your theory Anonymous, maybe we ought to let BP drill in the Sound to enable us to drive those big gas guzzlers. Maybe they could wipe out the deer with a few spills too.

    • Environmentalism is just an insidious form of genocide.

  31. The comments scolding humans in favor of nature are silly. News flash: human begins are a part of nature. And nature is not some blushing virgin ravaged by the cruel, alien forces of mankind. It can be pretty merciless, too. Environmentalism is well and good but at the end of the day, it has to be for our own benefit – any other reason is just silly. Good and bad are human creations, real inasmuch as suffering and pleasure are real – but to impose a simplistic morality on the natural world is pure sentimentalism; if anything smacks of dragging human values where they don’t belong, it’s that, not hunting (which more or less mimics animal behavior).

  32. Just let me handle this. Me and some of my Bama boys would love to help with the deer population. Deer goes great next to the taters and gravy! =)
    But yes, deer can cause a lot of damage to vehicles, yards, etc. No hunting allowed? I would think if you would allow it then maybe this problem wouldn’t exist?

    Check Us Out! A Little Place For Some Internet Traffic Road Rage!
    Road Rage with A & A

    • You better worry about your coastline thar Bama boy. Leave da gun at home and start sloppin up that oil on your beaches instead of the gravy.

  33. As someone who sides with the humans, I have to say that this seems like a non-issue. There are too many deer, so reduce the population. Whoever has said that hunting the deer will cause their extinction is seriously misusing the slippery-slope argument and is dangerously disregarding the deer populations of towns wherein hunting is legal.

    Also, please tell me that “leaving the country to protect the deer” was not a serious suggestion. Deer are not people, and they are certainly not worth abandoning America over. Basically, what I want to say is: Yay America!

    • Addison Fletcher

      There are too many people. So let’s do away with a few. I think they call that war. Yay America.

      • Didn’t you read my first paragraph? deer are not people, they are animals at worst and food at best. when they start hurting humans then its time for them to go.

        • Addison Fletcher

          I did read your comment. Deer certainly don’t hurt anyone. They are an annoyance. You don’t kill off things that irritate you unless, of course, you are the United States military.

          • The US military are under civilian command. They don’t march off to war without orders from people like Mr. Obama.

          • The Dude Abides

            Are you sure they are under civilian control?? I am not so sure. And Obama lost my previous vote when he entered Afganistan. The CIA is having great success with drones. Why do we need ground troops? Why are there 15,000 Marines in Okinawa still???

          • The deer certainly are hurting people. The blog post talked about destroyed farms and damage to cars. Sure the deer are not breaking into people’s houses and murdering children, but they are clearly effecting the livelihood of these people.

  34. Many, many years ago somebody took deer to New Zealand. There were no predators there so nature did what nature does … deer might have taken over the whole island.

    They’ve turned them into food; trapped them in livestock yards to wallow in the mud; made them wish they’d refused the invitation to move to beautiful New Zealand.

  35. The real “predator” is the human destructuring the ecological balance for short therm profits.
    Seeing problems “out of context” could be suicidal to humanity on the long run.

  36. It’s right.I’m agree with you.

  37. Funny coincidence, finding this on Freshly Pressed today – we were talking about deer culling last night.
    I live near the Ashdown Forest in England. If the deer there are not regularly culled, there simply is not enough for them to eat.

  38. Colin L Beadon

    Seems to be a lot of barking up the wrong tree, when the main culling is of the one who walks, two legged and usually way over-weight these days, on the ground.
    Banning hunting, is also damn stupid now most of the carnivores have been killed off as though they had no right to live. Man brings down the sword of Damocles, on himself. He just can’t resist doing it that way, and wild nature gets blamed, at every turn.

  39. Personally, I’m with Sir William S. Gilbert on this one:

    “Deer stalking would be a much better sport if the deer had rifles.”

  40. Hush McCormick

    Seems to be a recurring theme here in this country: ADD. We overdevelop our towns so animal life alter their habitat. Then the great consensus is to hunt them down to death. We arm the Taliban and now want to kill them off as well. I believe they call it vision. Where has it gone?

  41. I’m not a fan of hunting, and in Westport, there is little space where it can be done safely if at all…

    That being said, there are several hunting organizations that donate the venison to soup kitchens, last year I was a guest judge of a venison chili cook-off for a program in Washington DC that trains chefs from a re-entry program. The hunters had donated over 100,000 pounds of venison meat to soup kitchens.

    Mary Ann West

  42. the hubris here is enormous, i.e., homeless people don’t need to be recipients of what some people (who by focusing so intently on killing a growing deer population show their lack of weighter current events) consider a nusiance. i mean, really, it’s equivalent to the people who thought that sending their hand me downs to haiti was a significant gesture.

  43. butterflywing

    wolves and coyotes have always kept the deer population in check, but we destroyed them. the answer is to bring back the wolves and coyotes. if they happen to thin other ‘herd’, so be it. there are too many of them. in fact, let’s take a count and see which there are more of and who’s causing more damage: them or us.

  44. I have not yet heard from the cult of the deer why we should not worhsip rats as well? Why are deer more worthy of your sappy sentiments?

    • The Dude Abides

      Disney propaganda. I am not sure anyone here is worshipping deer. There is no question they create a problem but, in my eyes, a situation that was created by us humans with overdevelopment. Rats are not such victims.
      I am no animal lover or hunter but when we create the problem, we should deal with it in a humane fashion. Tranquilize the varmits and transport them to Vermont.

  45. i don’t advocate killing rats, people, cows, dogs, cats, etc., i.e., i’m a mammal/i don’t eat my own. most people (those who have joined the ranks and evolved to become more sophisticated than our cave-people ancestors) use humane-traps and have them released in non-residential areas.

  46. I think it’s ridiculous that hunters boast that they’re “keeping deer from starving to death because theres too many deer and not enough food”.
    And ya know what? I have yet to see a picture of a hunter and a dead deer that is skinny and looking like it was suffering from lack of food. If they REALLY were putting deer “out of there misery” for those reasons, you’d see the hunters killing skinny and frail deer that at least LOOK like their malnourished! D:<

    Not to mention the humans took over their species.

    Its a bunch of bull-poo. =,=

    And yes, I'mma vegan, but My dad, and a great number of people I know hunt. I don't approve of it, and I refuse to help the clean/cut up the flesh.

  47. Still no defense of the rat. How about termites? How about mosquitos? BTW tigers and lions are mammals and they certainly eat their own, and if deer wanted to live in non-residential areas, they would move there.

    • The Dude Abides

      We do deal with rats, mosquitos and termites through extermination. Tigers and lions live only in the wild. Are you infering that deer enjoy living in Westport? I doubt that.

      • I understand revealed preference. The “wild”? What is the wild?

      • The Dude Abides

        Jeffxs: I love you bro but you are being tangentially argumentative. No rats, no lions,
        no tigers, etc. Deer! For whatever reason, culturiologically, we have placed deer above the other varmits you mention. WE have created a problem within residential suburbs that needs to be addressed. Since the RTM will be looking at it, as earlier suggested, nothing will be done or they will receive special refuge in the location of the new YMCA or perhaps take over Longshore. Either way, we have close to 90 comments concerning a subject that, most likely, will never be resolved, much like our national immigration issue of actual human beings.

        • You missed the point. The no rats, no termites goes right to the heart of the hypocrisy of the cult of the deer. The argument that primacy bestows viture is sophomoric at best. The whole argument advanced by the cult of the deer smacks of a typical post-modern denigration of humanity based the premise of moral relativism.

          • The Dude Abides

            Man, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about?

          • I know what you’re talking about and I raise my glass to you, good sir. Basically, this entire conversation stinks of people liking animals more than they like people. It’s like the futureama episode when the hippie spoils the plan to save earth because it involves a gorilla being eaten.

  48. Hush McCormick

    I certainly concur with the generalizations about hunters. Most don’t kill animals to eat or survival but for play and ego and certainly not to assist the eco-system. I don’t understand their mentality but respect their right to do so. If they need their guns to feel macho macho man (or woman in the case of Sarah), so be it.

    • You have no idea why people hunt. Where does the eco-system end and humanity begin? The logic of your statement cannot be sustained.

      • Real hunters hunt to eat. Others do for sport which involves ego/self-worth. Humanity is part of the eco-system.

  49. Pingback: Top Posts —

  50. how (&why) can you respect their right to do it (hunt) if you don’t understand their mentality that supports them doing so? hunting deer is not necessary and it is not right.

    more: i’ve never seen an ugly deer, whereas some humans…particularly the portly hunters i see lumbering through orvis getting tips on how to camoflogue themselves while they stalk the animals…

    interesting too that most soldiers that i know do not and would never think to hunt a defenseless animal down, whereas some over-indulged suburbanites looking to qualify ownership of their SUVs think that defenseless deer shooting gives them some testosterone-credibility

    • Anonymous: I respect the right for citizens to do anything they want as long as it is legal. Passisng judgement gets you no where in this culture. I think you are generalizing as to hunters: they come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, education and military experience.

    • You must have a great deal of trouble understanding the US Constitution, and the Founding document. It is not necessary for you or anyone else to “understand” a person’s mentality for them to have rights that must be respected. In fact, it is very likely that you could not understand someone’s” mentaltality” if it were explained to you.

      • I never said it was a necessity to understand such rights. I am voicing an opinion of my own understanding which I believe is so allowed by the First Amendment. Your last sentence is condescending and not nice.

        • The last sentence was meant to have a more general relevance. The “you” was a not a reference to you personally. I don’t think that any of us can understand truly another’s “mentality.”

  51. “Real” hunters? You are a bit confused. If someone hunts, that person is a hunter. His/her motivation is irrelevant. Moreover, the motivation is beyond your ken.

  52. A distinction was made between hunters who hunt to eat and those who hunt for sport. I concur on the irrevlancy of the motivation and my inability to comprehend such need. I have no idea why anyone would want to kill an animal.

  53. Why is it our first instinct to kill something that bothers us?

  54. i wouldn’t be so parochial as to respect a person’s right to do anything they want ‘so long as it is legal’; a number of social and civil rights absuses have been acted out dressed in that ‘defense’.

    while the US Constitution has rarely been altered since it’s drafting, laws as they are interpreted and implemented are always changing.

    legal or not, stalking and killing animals is not necessary and point for point, ‘public good’ reasons to protect them can outweigh reasons to shoot them.

    • Anonymous: Parochial? Try patronising. But if you think anyone is going to ban hunting in this country, you are in a dream world. We can’t even get decent gun control to stop the murders of people.

      • There is not one shred of evidence that supports the argument that strict gun control laws reduce the murder rate. There is evidence that the exact opposite is true. Then there is the second amendment which has proven to be an obstacle for those who would enforce their will on others when it comes to gun ownership.

  55. It is not our (as specie?) first instinct to kill, what bothers us.
    But I start to get the impression that the weapon lobby impacts the USAmerican mindset far more when it comes to conflicts, than European.
    I guess a little bit more cultivation and a bit less macho “in charge” mentality would do some place good.

  56. Pingback: Thin The Herd « My Buddy

  57. What bothera me is the tendency of the sanctimonious to lecture us on our tendencies.

  58. The Dude Abides

    I concur. Awfully judgemental with a narrow view of perhaps a differing opinion or belief.
    What bothers me most, Jeffxs, is that the commentators here seem to be more concerned with the possibility of killing deer as opposed to reality of war that is presently killing thousands every week. Maybe Gordon Gecko was right: We do like animals more than people.

    • The war? Whose fault is that? Who elected the people who are prosecuting the war? My guess is that it is the same group of sanctimonious twits who populate the cult of the deer; but that is just a guess.

  59. It is very sad that your town woud resort to culling, but in some cases, espcially in urban areas, it may be the only solution. We have a hyge problem mwith urban foxes in London and my local council has indeed “thinned the herd” drastically a few years ago. I do not particularly want to even know how…but I suspect similar method.

  60. Of all the current REAL issues going on, you’re worried about deer? I live in Arizona currently, which does not and has never had deer problems. However, I was born and raised in Washington state, which is rampant with deer. Given that, I can tell you that the “cost of deer” has never been anywhere near the millions. If your town has issues with deer, live smarter…they’re the less intelligent form of life here, idiots. Did that hurt? Let it sting; let it sink in.

    Next month, there will be a bill passed, per all states, that will mandate a limit on pregnancies and children allowed per family, to keep population down. The high population totals are a cause for…just about every single American problem we’re currently dealing with. So it’s justified to mandate the number you can have, or abort the ones who might cause a problem, right? What if that were a real bill? Would you sign off on it and hope it passed through your town?

    …Fucking morons. There are simpler ways to deal with this. If we killed off everything we didn’t like or that caused a less comfortable way of life, every single one of you condoning this would be dead.

    Yeah, I said it…that just happened.

    • What about the snails? They are being killed off and served with garlic and butter. As to the cause of just about every single American problem; look in the mirror.

  61. The Dude Abides

    Leave out the profanity. It doesn’t belong on this blog and especially coming from someone from Arizona. A state that has become a joke for runaway discrimination and mockery of this nation. I do agree with your theory but your rhetoric belongs in the gutter.

    • The mockery is a federal government that does not enforce its own laws. How can anyone take such a government seriously?

  62. The Dude Abides

    Who said we did?? Dang, Jeffxs, the 06880 blog has gone national. Jeez, the loo-loos are coming of the woodwork. Gotta retreat to the Blue Ridge Mountains to escape for a month. Keep up the good fight.

  63. Profanity aside, let’s look at relevancy, yeah? Are you familiar with the word? If so, tell me what Arizona has to do with the invalid killing of deer. I’ll give you time to try and justify your stupidity…it might take a while, I understand.

    I’ll help you out a little. Being an Arizona resident means I’m racist, prejudice, and lacking compassion for Mexicans, law, the national government, and Barack Obama. Also, it means that because I am here, I supported SB1070 and the removal of illegal immigrants. Given these things, it must also mean that I am all for removing the problem, rather than killing it, right?

    Have fun with that one.

  64. The Dude Abides

    If you read the main context of the blog entry, it deals with the “Immigration of America.” No one from this zip code, 06880, has advocated the “invalid killing of deer.” WordPress has brought in the hunters, deer huggers and just plain blog-loos. To me, coming from Arizona means that you are old, white, partially senile and probably suffering from erectile dsyfunction with a rhetorical need to be superior and profane. As Mama used to say:
    “Stupid is as stupid does.” If you think SB1070 is “removering the problem,” Mama was right on!

  65. Are you retarded? If so, I’d feel bad for pointing out your stupidity. If not, read on.

    First, if you aren’t condoning the killing of deer, my comment didn’t apply to you in the first place. Don’t be so defensive, life isn’t out to get you, insecure fuck.

    Second, I’m not from Arizona, as my comment stated. Did you not pay attention to any of it? Also, you’re wrong about literally every single assumption of me. I’m not white, I’m young, and I definitely don’t have E.D. problems. The fact that you continue to avoid my points and continue to try and point out shit that has nothing to do with the actual post itself means one of two things to me. Either 1) you are actually retarded and/or wearing a helmet while at your computer, or 2) my having an opinion that you can’t combat makes you feel inferior. And making invalid remarks, with profanity included or not, won’t make you feel like a bigger, smarter person, I promise. And it won’t get rid of your E.D. problem, champ. You can keep trying though, it’s entertaining to me and furthering my point about what should be done with persons who are a bother.


    • If anyone is not very bright it is you. One does not combate opinions, there is no need; arguments perhaps, but not opinions, and you aren’t bright enough to advance a coherent argument.

  66. The Dude Abides

    Tiresome dealing with twits. On your July 18th, 2010 entry,you said you were “currently living in Arizona” and then on your most recent, 8:46 p.m. post, you said that you are not “from Arizona.” Are you confused? But my bud, Jeffxs, seems to have found the proper words to respond to your verbal diarrhea.

  67. “Currently living in Arizona” means I’m not from here. If I were from Arizona, I would have said “I’m from Arizona.” Fucking moron, try to pay attention.

    Also, if I’m “not bright enough to advance a coherent thought,” why are you attempting to argue any of what I say or think? What does that make you? And clearly, if there’s a lack of intelligence, it’s coming from both of you two as neither has made a suggestion as to why my initial post was stupid, invalid, or incoherent. I’m still waiting. And honestly at this point, I’m bored with your lack of understanding and wit. Back to the basics, kids. Back to the basics.

    So unless you dumbfucks can muster up something with an intelligence level higher than that of an amoeba shit, which has yet to happen…I’m done commenting.

  68. Good ridance moron. Take that foul mouth with you.

  69. I’m a moron because I have a foul mouth? I’ve been typing, either way…no mouth involvement at all.

    Anyway, it’s still saddens me that all you idiots can do is make comments about my language, and not about the actual context of what I’ve typed. It’s embarrassing, honestly.

    Good luck with your deer problem, ‘tards. Understand that you can’t make them go away just because they bother you. Like I said before…they’re the less intelligent species in this equation. Killing them is not going to fix anything, and it’s not your say as to who lives and who dies.

  70. You are a moron, because you can’t offer a coherent argument. It most certainlt is our “say” as to who lives and who dies. If there were no choice moron, there would be no dilemma. BTW “context”? I don’t think so. You just aren’t very bright and you provided evidence of that with every post.

  71. If it was your say, why are the deer still there?
    Oh snap.
    I’ll tell you why, though. The circle of life. If deer are outsmarting your area, your problem is not the deer, it’s the people in the population being overtaken by…deer.

    What was wrong with “context”? Not only is it valid, but was exactly what I was trying to get across. Putting it in quotes doesn’t make it any less so. I’m honestly tired of embarrassing you, it’s not fun anymore.

    Your problem still exists. Wonder why? You’re spending time arguing yourself in circles with text, rather than finding a solution to your deer problem. Stop crying via this post…other people reading it are embarrassed by you, they just don’t have the gall to state it.

    • “actual context” Sorry it doesn’t work. Try the English language next time. Your post is bereft of logic; if we have no say, then we have no dilemma moral or otherwise. You promised to go away; please keep that promise.

  72. A visitor from NH

    I wonder what a study from the deer’s perspective would show?
    Dismissing the idea of any economic costs, what are the impacts on the quality of life for the deer? They can’t really complain about the loss of habitat, because deer obviously thrive in Westport.
    In vehicle collisions the deer are clearly the injured party. None of the deer are insured against loss of life, injury or disability. From their point of view, human don’t have a leg to stand on compared to the losses of the deer from vehicle collisions. What about the quality of life issues and health costs to humans of all those vehicles spewing their exhaust and running over humans?
    Spraying for ticks is a win-win situation for the deer. It’s the tick who are the real enemy, not the deer.
    Complaining about landscape losses is a bit like pioneers complaining about the loss of prairie grasses from the buffalo, which was negligible compared to the near extinction of the buffalo. “Stormwater damage abatement due to erosion from loss of the understory”? If Westport were not who-knows-what percent covered in pavement and human structures and there had been proper planning for wetland mitigation, there would be no need to blame the real victims.
    I have to wonder if “two PhD’s from the Department of Health Policy and Management of New York Medical College” estimating the annual cost of deer to Westport at $8,934,162″ had any personal investment in the findings. Do either live in Westport, having losses of their precious ornamentals? Who paid for the study? Did either or both of the docs have an investment in the outcome? (Perhaps just the fact they were paid for the study?)
    From the point of view of the deer, “culling, translocation, range expansion, manipulation of water sources, and contraception” of the human population might make sense to the deer. To some extent, it may even make more sense for the humans.
    A few weeks ago, at sunrise I observed at coyote chasing a doe through the yard of a Lockwood Circle home. I have to wonder if nature were allowed to do her job (humans allowing or tolerating natural predators) might be part of the solution for humans. Humans would have to be considered natural predators of deer, too. In some places food banks welcome the donation of game animals. Perhaps a safety-regulated hunt in the Fall, when deer have put on fat for the Winter, could be considered?
    Cruelty and slaughter for human vanity is not acceptable. If we approach the problem for the “right” reasons (respecting the life of the animal, realize we share the earth not dominate it) we can take steps that are ethical, not just self-serving. Bambi beware!

    • The “right reasons? Thank goodness you are here to explain to us what is right and “ethical.” (BTW I think you meant moral, you advanced no ethics.)

  73. Context is most definitely a word, and is also most definitely the correct word used. Don’t try and correct my grammar or spelling when you’ve fucked up something in every comment you’ve typed so far. Again, entirely irrelevant from the CONTEXT of the post and/or my comments. Are you really this fucking stupid, or is this some weirdo attempt to make people feel sorry for you? I have to tell you, it’s working.

    And again, you furthered my point. You do have a say, so why are they still a problem? You’re letting an almost retarded animal control your population and apparently cost you millions (which is bullshit, by the way). You should not be having problems with an animal this stupid. And the fact that you are, and that you’re stilllllll arguing with me over shit that doesn’t pertain to the deer problem, is evidence of why you have a problem in the first place. You’re being outsmarted by a fucking deer.

    Sad =/

    …Also, I didn’t promise to go away. But I did say that I would based on a lack of intelligence or valid argument against anything I’ve stated. So on THOSE grounds, I’ll leave you be. I understand, you can’t take it.

    • Nice try at the old two step; “context” is a word, you got that right, but it is not the right word. And you are a bit confused, you are arguing that we have no say but then again we have a say. Now, you can go away.

  74. YOU argued that you have a say, fucking moron. Do I really need to give you the play-by-play here? I’m tired of fucking embarrassing you…it’s honestly beyond patheticism at this point.

    You STILL have yet to address the CONTEXT of what I’ve typed. Your mother’s ashamed of you =\

    • Once again, if we have no choice, then there is no dilemma and your entire argument falls apart. The word is “content”, and if your argument were not intellectually bankrupt, you would not resort to crude language to cover up your deficiency. Bye Bye Sparky.

  75. that person’s use of crude language – as you put it – doesn’t cause their argument to fall apart at all…i think we are all adults here and can read between the slurs without breaking a sweat, right?

    • Please review the thread. There is no sustainable argument offered by the individual in question. The crude language is an attempt to cover up the lack of any coherent thought process. Nice of you to rise to the defense of the feeble minded.

  76. nice post

  77. The language doesn’t “cover” anything. It might emphasize it a little immaturely, but the points are still there.

    All I was saying initially was that the deer are less intelligent and should not be blamed. you’re the more intelligent species…well, not you specifically, but humans, and should be the ones intelligent enough to solve the issue without killing them off. Nature will run that course for you on its own.

    And, because embarrassing you is all too easy- if you have no say and no problem, why are you still bitching and moaning? And if you do have a say…go fix it. That seems simple enough, yeah? Even for a retard like you.

  78. Pegged for what, someone who has verbally pissed all over you?

    There was no back pedaling.

  79. Hippie bashing is the old jealous reactionary projection of people who need to feel superior to other (and other specie) out of some twisted inferiority issue.
    Considering the eugenic “charity” plans of some fat cats already in action, it is clear that some “masterminds” wont stop at “regulating the wildlife”.
    They are not “inferior species” and no “inferior humans” . Everything is interconnected with everything and taking one aspect out the whole context “to eliminate” might be a disastrous thoughtless act with long lasting consequences for all.

    • “Hippie bashing is the old jealous reactionary projection of people who need to feel superior to other (and other specie) out of some twisted inferiority issue.”

      Goodness me, now who’s being condescending?

      And sorry to say, but there are such things as inferior species. These species can be easily identified because they cannot build skyscrapers or cars.

      And what’s all this talk about “masterminds?” There is no evil organization out to destroy our planet.

  80. “And sorry to say, but there are such things as inferior species. These species can be easily identified because they cannot build skyscrapers or cars.”

    Goodness me, how unintelligent of these “inferior being” to not do such things. If those both examples are the summit of human “superior smartness”, I guess we have another concept “what to preserve in the human specie”.

    If you consider the analyse of violent posturing as condescending, I guess you don’t question often your own motivation, and you might live in a surrounding where divisive class attitude smells like “home coffee”.

    • “Divisive class attitude,” yes of course, it always comes down to that in your little world. If you can make distinctions among classes, why not among species and why not have those distinctions based upon intelligence?

  81. I just wonder how the therm “my” little world fits in in an interconnect quantum looping universe.
    Social exclusivity is as absurd as each “purity” ideology.WE as humanity have no time left for such distractions from the essential.

  82. Thank you to share the unspecific centre of the universe with me and all other!