Manage Deer for Hunting, or Manage Them for People?

When it comes to managing white-tailed deer for the public interest, do state wildlife agencies have a duty to manage them for hunting or for safety in regard to motorists?

whitetail deer managementThat’s what an Iowa man wonders, and probably other folks in other states, too, following the injuries his son sustained in spring after colliding with a deer. Skip Wilson, 49, was on his motorcycle when he collided with a deer at about 6 a.m. near his home. He sustained vision loss in one eye, a ruptured spleen, broken ribs, collapsed lung and head injuries. He still has problems with memory loss and formulating thoughts to express himself or have a conversation.

His father, Merle Wilson, believes the Iowa Department of Natural Resources should manage deer to reduce their numbers to improve public safety instead of for hunting and the money reaped each deer season. According to this report, Wilson has written hundreds of letters, talked with public officials and even met with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad about the issue.

“We have lost the son that we knew. He has three teenage sons at home who are not going to know the father he once was. And all this because of that deer,” Merle Wilson, a former hunter, told The Des Moines Register. “How can the DNR let all these accidents happen and not be held accountable?”

Wilson obviously has more of an agenda about this issue following his son’s collision. But it’s a question asked nationwide in regard to wildlife, which thanks to hunters’ massively successful conservation efforts in the last 120 years has increased wildlife numbers among many species.

It’s an issue that won’t go away, either. What do you think? Should state wildlife management areas manage for hunting or public safety? Or can both be achieved? Let us know what you think in our comments section below.


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