The Potomac Highlands Watershed School
High School Environmental Forum
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HUNTERS – HHS AdvEeartSci 1st Block
Bryan, Ricky, William Version 2 (10/31/05)
We are speaking for the hunters. We should let the deer grow for a while. When hunting bucks we shouldn’t shoot any bucks under a 6-point. The deer should be fed all year around so that they don’t lose any when the food supply is low. The people should manage the anterless deer long with the antlered deer ensure the same amount in a deer herd. For every one-buck no more than 3 does should be harvested. With the CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) the deer population might start decreasing after awhile. But for hunters we are really watching out. We would like to harvest the deer our self. The hunters are really wanting the deer to be much bigger and more deer. If we slack off the harvesting of the deer we would have a lot of more deer. In order for our deer to be bigger we need to plant some alfalfa fields. Alfalfa fields are a main concentration spot for deer to get bigger and more mass of the antlers and neck. Hunters should be restricted to only harvesting 1 buck and 1 doe in the deer season. We need to let our deer grow for at least 2 years. If we would let them grow our deer population would be much higher than it is already. And we wouldn’t have the complaining about how little the deer are and we never see a deer all season. We know farmers complain about deer destroying their farming property. I actually think they should put up a high-tension fence instead of harvesting all the deer. After the over population of deer, maybe the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) should reconsider the thought of allowing a longer hunting season. If we were too have another hunting period during the year we could really manage the deer. After the other schools talking about releasing animals into the forest and killing our deer. We should really go against that idea. If we was to allow that a lot of other animals could be killed and humans could even be harmed. Animal babies could be in a lot of danger allowing that to happen. We just need to have another suggestion how to manage the deer. I really think hunters are starting not to hunt as much because our deer is slowly starting to decrease from all the other diseases and thing killing our deer. If any other hunter position stakeholders have any questions or ideas feel free to reply to us. Ricky, William, Bryan
HHS Hunters, Block 3
As hunters, our position on the deer over population is that of a double-edged sword. On one hand, deer provide more than ample sustanance for hunters, but there are many problems to be had with these docile creatures. Deer have been known to cause highway accidents, destroy crops and orchards, damage gardens, and affect the population by easily spreading diseases. To solve this problem we feel that implementing species that have been taken away.
Aldo Leopold, a naturalist, stated in a report:
"I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers."
This is why we should bring in predators such as the coyotes and the mountain lions back into its former environment. As hunters we are only looking for the large healthy deer. A big rack to the predators is immaterial. They are mainly looking for the weak and old for a meal because they are easiest to obtain. According to Gene Sheley, of Backwoods Home Magazine, there have only been 50 recorded attacks from mountain lions in the past 100 years. As for coyotes, the numbers are even less. These creatures also stick to the woods, so images of mountain lions attacking people in their backyards and homes are highly exaggerated.
From the mountain lion standpoint, this would greatly increase their dwindling population, because as of now, they are an endangered species. It is beneficial to have the mountain lion reintroduced into the environment. The deer population is over capacity and they are starving because of the scarcity of food. And with a smaller deer community, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) will abate allowing for more healthy specimens to be taken.
With the introduction of natural predators to the deer, the event of diseases being spread as rapidly as CWD will be much less. Although some problems will arise from reintroducing mountain lions, the benefits will far outweigh the negative aspects. Humans cannot be the only natural predator to the deer.
Petersburg High School, Kendra, Erin, Matt
Hunters’ Views on Deer Overpopulation
Being a hunter could be a good thing when the deer populations are overcrowded, mostly because it allows you a lot more chances to kill a deer, or even see one while hunting in the woods. Then again it can have its downfalls. When the deer population is overcrowded, it can lead to most male deer being killed and displayed as trophy deer. This leaves the does in the woods, and never shot.
As hunters, we have looked into a lot of ideas that could help reduce the overpopulation of deer. One way that could help is allow more does to be killed and fewer bucks. This would allow the doe population to decrease, and bucks to grow more mature before they’re killed. We searched on the Internet to find other people who had the same view on that subject that we did. A few seventh graders from Franklin Lakes Public Schools in New Jersey found that killing more does and fewer bucks was the best option most people could think of trying(1). These Franklin Lakes students had similar ideas to ours.
The overpopulation of deer needs more than one way to be solved. Besides permitting the hunting of more does, a longer hunting season could be allowed. Hunting them year round may not help as well as it should. Another way to decrease the population would be to release predators into the wild. These predators would utilize deer as a food source and help control the deer population. The West Virginia DNR could release animals such as wolves and mountain lions. We looked again online for further references involving reintroduction of these animals back into the wild and found some who agreed and some who didn’t. Many say it should be done, but watched closely so it doesn’t get out of hand. Evan Haarbauer, a high school student from Alabama School of Math and Science, wrote in an essay: “ Predators should be released into local habitats as a way to decrease the deer population.”(2) We had the same ideas Evan did on the subject. Those who are against putting predators in the wild mostly say it is dangerous because the predators could kill off other animals and maybe endanger human life.
1. Seventh grade students at Franklin Lakes Schools wrote a paper telling how they thought killing deer was needed. www.FrankinLakes.K12.nj.us/Famousweb/curriculmscience/hpowers/Powersresearch/research7/JeffDsci/index.html
2. Evan Haarbauer of Jefferson County, He attends Alabama School of Math and Science. Http://www.asms.net/rtc/19992000/EvanHaarbauer.htm