Do Songbirds Need Deer Hunters?

What do birds and deer have in common?

Habitat, and if there are too many deer putting a hurt on the habitat used by birds then it can negatively impact their food sources and nesting opportunities.

Some folks don’t see that correlation, though, and believe everything will be just fine if left alone. Anti-hunters pushing for elimination of deer hunting – or all hunting – on national wildlife refuges, for example, don’t seem to care if one species is negatively impacted by another.

That’s the take of veteran writer and hunter Frank Miniter in this thoughtful opinion piece at Hunters who help curtail deer populations, and possibly along with other methods of managing those numbers, actually help all species.

From Miniter’s column: Let’s start with science. William Koch, refuge manager of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, said if deer hunting were terminated on the refuge the 8,000-acre property would be a barren, deforested place after only a few years. “Deer hunting is vital to the health of the area. Deer can have a very negative impact on habitat, which is not only habitat for deer but also for many other species,” he explained. In fact, each refuge’s management follows specific rules before they decide whether or not to use hunting as a wildlife management tool. There is a set process for opening areas to hunting that might include an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. Each refuge has a stated purpose, and it has goals and objectives. Hunting can enter into its management strategy, as it does at Great Swamp, where deer hunting is a management tool used to preserve low-growing vegetation that many wildlife species need.

Definitely worth a read. Check it out.