On the odd chance you don’t already know animal rights activists are hopelessly delusional, their latest proposals for Staten Island’s urban deer population should convince you.
They want to capture this New York City island’s whitetail bucks, snip them at a cost of $2 million dollars — and turn them loose. Whitetail vasectomies coming soon to a town near you?
This “kinder, gentler” plan is supposed to solve Staten Island’s whitetail overpopulation problem. About 24 deer in 2008 have kindled enough romance to bring the herd to roughly 1,000 on the 58 square mile island just across Upper Bay from Brooklyn. This has led to more traffic accidents, deer crashing through store windows, leaping into swimming pools, goring pets and ravaging landscaping. Animal lovers love their wildlife when it’s convenient.
Predictably, soft-hearted (headed) politicians like New York City mayor Bill de Blasio champion this harebrained reproductive interruptus scheme as smart, fast and humane. But of course! They play the “humane” card. Harassing, capturing, drugging, and cutting wild deer — whitetail vasectomeis — is humane, not to mention 100 percent natural. Nature demonstrates this annually with her various and sundry forced sterilization programs. (A bit of naturalist’s sarcasm there. Nature’s overpopulation solution is predation, starvation and disease, not surgery.)
Commentators are having a field day with this politically correct solution to inconvenient natural abundance. Mary Kay Linge in the New York Post wrote “You see , Mr. Mayor, when a boy deer loves a girl deer very, very much…” She then went on to describe the annual whitetail rut so well known to hunters across North America, noting how “hot-to-trot does could attract bucks…swimming over from New Jersey.” The channel between the island and mainland is as narrow as 400 yards. This promises an unending supply of fresh bucks for Mayor de Blasio to torment and snip. Government jobs creation at its best!
Even if fresh, lusty bucks could be prevented from infiltrating the island, biologists, slightly more in tune than animal rights activists with life on Earth, point out that does bred by bucks shooting blanks would recycle about every 28 days. This would prolong the annual rut for five or six months. Sterile but still virile bucks would roam, rage, fight, crash into cars and kill one another at a bloody rate.
The deer-loving New York mayor reportedly said this vasectomy project was chosen partly because it is “easy to perform on male deer.” Dr. Paul Curtis, a Cornell University whitetail expert who has actually conducted whitetail vasectomies, disagreed: “That’s absolutely false. They do not respond well to the immobilization drugs. It is far more stressful on the animals.”
Regardless what scientists, researchers, whitetail experts and country bumpkins from Bucksnort U.S.A know, the Mayor’s office knows better. According to a spokesman: “It’s a smart approach that can be implemented quickly, before the problem increases.”
Hunters in the rest of the U.S., meanwhile, help keep whitetail herds at tolerable levels at no cost to taxpayers. Each year hunter spending adds $2.4 billion to federal income tax collections and pays for biologists, game wardens and wildlife habitat improvement on millions of acres. Excise taxes on guns and ammunition add more millions. This is no small thing. Purchase an inexpensive, $400 Mossberg Patriot rifle, for instance, and you’ve contributed $44 to wildlife management programs. A $30 box of Norma ammo puts $3 into wildlife programs. Hunters have been making such self-imposed contributions since 1937. It has been a major source of funding for wildlife restoration across the U.S., but how often do you hear or read about that in the popular media?
So here’s a question: how long are rational, common sense folks going to allow radical fringe animal rights activists drive the narrative? How long will we let them attempt to change the paradigm of wildlife management in this country and around the world? When do we start playing offense? When do we demand the press expose the truth about wildlife protection, restoration and perpetuation as successfully undertaken by cooperative, regulated, helpful sport hunters?
# # #