You’d think that taxpayers eventually would get fed up with civic leaders throwing away money on ineffective wildlife management, but they apparently don’t care or don’t realize that what’s going on is a waste of time.
Bald Head Island in North Carolina has too many deer. It’s a coastal island, several miles south of Wilmington, with a country club, spacious houses, creeks, forests and ample places for deer to thrive. The Cape Fear River winds through the marsh just north of the populated point of the island. It looks gorgeous.
But despite the far more effective and affordable method of using sharpshooters to kill a specific number of deer each year, animal “rights” people continued to insist on using a contraceptive. The North Carolina state wildlife agency permitted the use of GonaCon, a contraceptive vaccine. The first attempt to “dart” and then vaccinate deer didn’t go well.
This isn’t the first city to attempt contraception, of course. Cayuga Heights in New York is amid a plan to do the same. That’s a heavily populated area near Cornell University. It’s been attempted elsewhere, too.
Previously on Bald Head Island deer were removed via sharpshooters during culls in the 2000s. The deer were processed and donated to charity. As is often the case in this deer overpopulation scenario, some cities use the snipers (and, when possible, urban hunting), because lethality it is without a doubt the most effective, easy, smart, sensible, fiscally prudent and win-win method for everyone involved.
Before some bleeding heart cries “Not everyone! Not the deer!”, understand this: deer are not humans. They are not people. They are animals and are expendable in overpopulated situations where their numbers at high levels increase the risk of disease and vehicle crashes, affect the vegetation, and become unhealthy.
According to the story in the Port City Daily, Bald Head Island is a maritime forest that is “globally imperiled.” Officials there want to keep the deer population to about 200. But they don’t want to kill them. The first attempt to use GonaCon resulted in 18 deer being vaccinated.
Y’know what? That’s an idiotic management plan. They would have to vaccinate those 18 deer next year and an additional 30 or more. If they couldn’t get 30 this year, and will have to spend the money next year to basically double up, how the heck does that make any kind of wildlife, conservation or financial sense whatsoever?
It doesn’t. But it makes a bunch of people have all warm, fuzzy feewings that they helped the poor little deer by giving them a contraceptive instead of letting a sharpshooter quickly kill a specific number of deer, donate the meat to charity, and help the “globally imperiled” island habitat thrive.
I love watching deer, studying them, hunting them and eating them. I don’t enjoy seeing them mismanaged or in situations that are unhealthy to them, other flora and fauna, or people. And I damn sure don’t enjoy seeing deer, or other animals, revered as some sacred thing on par with humans. Conservation is not preservation. Those are two different things. And conservation includes management, which often involves lethal methods when dealing with wildlife.
Get a clue, people. A well-placed bullet is better than a syringe of contraception.