Using contraceptive drugs in an attempt to quell the population growth of white-tailed deer has been bandied about for years by animal “rights” groups and others who don’t think any animal should be killed.
As hunters know, proper conservation and management involves hunting. Not spending money on contraceptives, trapping, relocating or any other non-lethal feel good panaceas proffered by animal organizations or individuals.
But, some folks just don’t get it. Witness the efforts of Cayuga Heights, N.Y., which spent $35,808 in January to sterilize 12 does.
Did you get that? Almost $36,000 for 12 deer. That’s about $3,000 each. And according to this story, a year earlier they spent $148,315 to remove the ovaries from 137 does.
Two years, more than $184,120 on deer contraceptives and guess what? Yup, they still have deer and are trying to figure out what to do. Cayuga Heights is located amid the Finger Lakes in central New York.
“Fertility control is often suggested or advocated by individuals and organizations as a humane and cost-effective way to control deer populations or to reduce damages or conflicts associated with deer, especially in urban-suburban areas,” according to a 2011 report by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “However, based on considerable research on fertility control for deer, including several studies sponsored by DEC, this strategy has not proven to be a viable, stand-alone option for managing free-ranging deer populations.”
Guess what? The New York DEC also did not recommend these sterilization options. Even the animal “rights” organization pushing for sterilization admits the process is stressful and has limits on effectiveness.
But, push on! It may not work but do it anyway!
And, of course, taxpayers are on the hook.
Urban hunting programs with bows and crossbows are a better, less expensive option. But until taxpayers tire of being on the hook for something that isn’t recommended and is like putting a bucket of water in the ocean, their “don’t hurt ’em” actions will continue.
Charlie Alsheimer discusses why deer contraception is a horrible idea in the Population Control episode of Deer & Deer Hunting TV, available in the Season 8 DVD.