Cat. 3, Activism 14 – BL-58 – The Year of the Deer

Cat. 3, Activism 14 – BL-58 – The Year of the Deer

Ch. 58 –  Year of the Deer

When I was on my CARE-tours, I participated and assisted in many local campaigns, and instigated a few of my own. In doing so, I met and worked with some of the greatest grassroots activists across the land. I stress the word “grassroots”, to which things like the Hall of Fame are irrelevant. Unlike the big shots in their glass-and-chrome towers, leading from the rear while pocketing $250,000- $750,000 a year in salary from donation money meant for the animals, these grassroots activists, often financially strapped, not only pay themselves nothing, but fork out campaign expenses out of near-empty pockets. To them, fame and fortune mean nothing, while saving downtrodden animals and changing corrupt systems mean everything. To them, passion and compassion are the prime motivators. Grassroots is where the heart is. Grassroots is where the front line action is. And in these front line actions I participated in, I built deep bonds with the grassroots activists across the land.

2004 in Denver CO.

One of these grassroots activists with whom I’ve deeply bonded and hold in high professional esteem is Kristal Parks of Denver, Colorado, eclipsed only by her almost mystical bond with elephants.  One year, when Ringling Brothers came to town, she conducted a solo 12-day water-only hunger strike in a cage outside the entrance of the circus. Kristal has her own group called Pachyderm Power, and her own on-the-ground operation In Kenya, to and from which she travels annually. I met her in 2005 while on CARE-2. Denver, from a road tourer’s point of view, is “in the middle of nowhere”. Whichever way you plan your route, Denver would feel like a detour, and a big one. In spite of this, I have included Denver in my CARE-tour itineraries as much as I could, because of Kristal.

Another great heroine of mine is Lane Ferrante of Ohio, whose undying dedication to her totem animal the deer, and whose invincible fighting spirit in the invariably uphill battles she had thrown herself into, and led. I’m not talking about doing a few street corner demos, I’m talking about marching into the monster’s lair, to slay or be slain. But as I said, hers is the invincible fighting spirit that repeated setbacks in rigged contests cannot dampen, much less defeat, much much less extinguish.

With Princeton NJ broadcaster Kat McAfee and Lane Ferrante

When I first arrived in Ohio, I had only one thing definite in mind – to pay my respects to Dr, Steve Kaufman who funded CARE-1 and the publication of ÔMNI-SCIENCE. His home town was Cleveland, a large city fronting Lake Erie to the north and surrounded by a semi-circle of satellite towns to the west, south and east. In the southeast sector are the towns of Solon, Pepper Pike and Bedford, the last being Lane’s home town. When I was there, Solon was the main problem area, with Pepper Pike next, the problem being a supposed urban deer overpopulation and the town’s plan to cull half of them by hiring a professional wildlife killer name Anthony DeNicola, who called himself White Buffalo and charged about $500 per deer. His main methods were sharpshooting, often right in people’s backyard, and trap-and-bolt, involving rocket-net mass capture, an experience so traumatic that the captives beak their legs in their desperate attempt to escape, or else simply die of fright.

Across from Lane’s apartment building was a large urban forest inhabited by deer. She took walks in it often and made friends with specific deer. Every autumn some would be killed, and she would be heartbroken all over again. She was one of those who said, “I hate the fall.” This I deem extremely sad, the fall being such a beautiful season. This happens to my deer-loving friends, including Christian Raymond (New York), Nick Dalzell (Kentucky) and Andy Riley (Mississippi), on an annual basis. So, when this proposed cull came down, Lane and her few comrades were beside themselves, felt overwhelmed and needed external help. It just so happened that I came to town.

“Culling doesn’t work, due to the Compensatory Rebound Effect (CRE). Deer biology has it that in times of food shortage, their birth rate would go down, say to less than one fawn per doe, whereas in times of plenty, it would go up to twins and triplets. Culling half the population would double the food available per capita, and the reproductive rate of the survivors would likewise double or even triple. Come next year, they will have to be culled again, and again, year after year. Culling is self-perpetuating. It serves no one except DeNicola, who laughs all the way to the bank. Meanwhile, children come home from school to be traumatized by the sight of blood and dead deer in their backyards!” Lane paused for a breather. I noted that when she came to “DeNicola”, her eyes fumed.

Being a “numbers guy”, I asked, “How many deer are we talking about?”

“In the Solon area, the total population is about two thousand.”

“So they want to kill about a thousand?”


“At $500 a pop, this White Buffalo guy pops 500 deer and pockets a half million bucks?”

“Per season.”

“This should be a good lever for you to pull with City Hall. Money talks,” I observed, “I mean, that’s a lot of money for a small town, which I’m sure needs it in a hundred different ways, unless…”


“Unless city hall and this White Buffalo are in collusion, you know, kickbacks and such.”

“Hmm, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”

“I presume that you have an alternative plan to propose?”

“Yes, Immuno-Contraception (IC). Birth control.”

“How is it administered?”

“By injection.”

“I assume that the vaccines are available?”

“Yes, not just one type, but two, and tested – by the HSUS, no less – and certified.”

“So, how do you inject a wild deer?”

“By remote darting, or by using cage-traps to capture them first, then by syringe.”

“Pros and cons of each?”

“Well, remote darting does not traumatize the animal, but is unreliable and very labor-intensive to administer. Plus, a dart can only deliver the liquid one-year vaccine, which needs to be re-administered year after year, whereas injection, or implantation, can deliver the multi-layered three-year pellet. This, as I mentioned, requires the deer to be captured first, usually with cage traps, and is more reliable than darting, but the capturing and manhandling are traumatic for deer, and some do die in the process.”

“How do you capture a big buck with a full rack in a cage trap?”

“You don’t. Only females are immunized. No point to immunize males. If you miss one, he could impregnate the entire herd, or else, an outside male could come in.”

“How about cost?”

“The vaccines are just a few dollars per dose. It is the labor that is costly, and City Hall capitalizes on it.”

“But surely it can’t amount to $500 per deer?”

“No, but their hearts are set on killing, so killing it is. Perhaps this year is already a done deal,” she said bitterly.

I thought for about an hour.

“Okay, I figured out a way to make the injection method stress free for the deer, and very cheap on labor to boot.”

“You did?”

“I have a concept developed while I was in India. One of the major complaints of the villagers living around the tiger reserve was that chital deer come out of the park to raid their crops. I suggested a method by which deer could be automatically rounded up, then moved back into the core of the park. It involves what I called a ‘Deer Auto-Assembler’ (DAA). The idea is to set up a fenced area the size of several tennis courts, with inward one-way gates and food inside as enticement to enter. Once enough deer had entered the DAA, we’d simply transport them by truck back into the park. This can be customized for Solon.”


“There could be multiple inward one-way gates, but only one outward one-way gate. The gates should be made narrow enough to prevent bucks with antlers to pass through. Especially in a food shortage situation, and especially if you place food in the DAA as enticement, does will sooner or later enter, in a stress-free environment. After enough does have entered, the inward gates could be locked. The outward gate could open into a covered corridor ending in a manually controlled gate. Just short of the gate is a small hole on the wall of the corridor roughly where the rump of the deer would be, which can be uncovered, through which the deer can be injected and tagged. This done, the deer can be let loose. The important thing is to supplement feed the deer until their population has lowered to the optimal level and stabilized. In the off season, the DAA can be dissembled and stored.”

“What about cost?” Lane asked, indicating that she was taking the idea seriously.

“Of course there’d be an initial cost,” I said, “but the DAA could last for decades, and the cost could be amortized. As you can see, once set up, the DAA will work almost automatically, and no deer is traumatized. The only human labor involved would be to monitor it, and to inject the deer when it is in position. Even the injection and release could be automated, but as is would be good enough.”

Lane’s team put up a tough fight at city hall, and with the DNR. I attended at least two, speaking my piece both times, but the culling went ahead in 2006 regardless, and, as she had predicted, again in 2007. She fought on even harder than in 2006, and the DNR was feeling some real pressure and heat, and perhaps thinking of some compromise, when from left field charged in a certain AR group from another state, say “Group X” which loudly denounced any use of IC, saying that they categorically reject any human interference in wildlife matters.

I responded that there was already human interference, in terms of all the natural predators having been eradicated by the hunters, which in fact necessitated counter-interference to restore some balance. The deer population does need to be moderated somehow, or the habitat could indeed be irreversibly damaged and the deer would starve. “Group X” did not budge. The hunter-dominated City Hall and DNR heaved a happy sigh and promptly ordered another round of culling by White Buffalo. With “friends” like “Group X”, who needs enemies?

A closing comment on Lane. The enemies she fought were deeply entrenched in power. A local grassroots anti-hunting group against a hunting/culling operation has little chance of success, which is borne out by uphill battles Lane and her group fought every year. A lesser activist would have given up in frustration and resignation. But not Lane. Her perseverance in spite of repeated failures year after year is her great victory. And she could have moved away somewhere without deer, thus without deer killing, thus without annual heartache. But again, not Lane. She would rather have deer to love, and mourn, than to have no deer to love and mourn at all.

And the war goes on. The next enemy: BOW-HUNTERS.

During CARE-4 in 2007, I was in Allentown, Pennsylvania, when local activists asked for my help, and I got involved. Subsequently, I wrote a blog on this experience and here it is verbatim:



The collusion between hunters, government and media to deceive the people is multifarious and almost ubiquitous. Since 2003, I have personally conducted by car and/or motorcycle seven Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions (CARE tours), each covering 25-44 states in 4-7 months, and have seen quite a few tips of this evil Public Deception iceberg. Following is one nefarious example.

In 2007, while on CARE-4, I was in Allentown PA when local activists asked for my assistance in opposing a new bow-hunting scheme within the nearby Trexler Nature Preserve. It was the dying wish of General Harry Clay Trexler, who created the Preserve in 1906, that no hunting be conducted within the preserve.

But after honouring him for exactly 100 years, the local government announced in 2007 that due to a natural “population explosion” of the white-tail deer within and surrounding the preserve, its ecology and that of the surrounding areas had been seriously damaged, and thus the deer population needed to be culled by some 50%. As if by magic, there came the cavalry, in the form of a herd of bow hunters who promptly stepped forward to gallantly volunteer their services to the community, free of charge of course.

Except for the resistance put up by several great local activists, notably Carol Loomis, Virginia Wolfe and Cheryl Baker, the public had no comment, and the hunt scheme became fact. On opening day of the hunt, Carol, Cheryl, Cheryl’s teenage son and I entered the preserve, on foot and unarmed, amidst the teaming bow hunters, male and female, all armed with compound bows and razor-bladed broad-head arrows. We received many glances and stares ranging from suspicious to hostile, but it was an eye-opener.

Were I blindfolded and driven by jeep into the preserve, and taken for a short walk of no more than 100 yards from the parking area, then have the blindfold removed and asked what I was looking at, I would have answered that I was in a farm. Acres of forest had been ploughed down, and row upon row of Deer Clover and Rape planted in its place.

Those who understand the Compensatory Rebound Effect, some hunters included, know that with an over-abundance of food, deer would maximize their reproductive rate. Instead of no-fawn and singlet, they would have twins and triplets, resulting indeed in a high deer population, which is exactly what the hunters wanted.

Bow-hunters are very aggressive in forcing their way into potential hunting areas where the discharge of fire-arms is prohibited, including urban parks like Trexler, and within the urban area itself, even in people’s backyards.

It is a general strategy of hunters to first cultivate a high deer population by means of food-plots, then claim deer over-population, then offer themselves as saviours of deer-ravaged communities. The truth of the matter is that the whole thing is initiated by the bow-hunters stemming basically from their bloodlust, in collusion with the hunter-friendly politicians who are often themselves hunters, and put in office by the hunting industry in the first place. After all, the government knows about the Trexler food-plot, and issued the hunting permits.

General Trexler, even a top level military man, would weep.

But that is not all. I took pictures of the Trexler food plot and submitted them to the local newspaper, and spoke at length to its reporter, who actually interviewed me at the preserve when I was there, but the article that came out the following day did not make a single mention of the deer clover plantation, did not use my photos, but instead glorified a female hunter for being among the first to bag a magnificent buck.

And here is a better newspaper article on the topic:

The Morning Call

Allentown PA

By Kirk Beldon Jackson
September 30, 2007


As a trio of determined animal-rights activists watched, area hunters arrived at the Trexler Nature Preserve on Saturday, the first day of a controversial plan to open nearly 500 acres of the park’s North Range to bow-hunting.

Though a few shot dirty looks as they drove by, the hunters for the most part ignored the protesters, who had erected a makeshift altar of wreaths, signs and flowers to mark the expected deaths of animals.

However one man confronted the three women over hunting. One of the protesters was Lehigh Valley Animal Rights Coalition President Virginia Wolfe, who was dressed in black with a veil to symbolize mourning.

The hunter, who frequently used profanity as he traded words with the protesters, left after Pennsylvania Game Commission officers arrived.

Lehigh County agreed in May to open 471 acres of the North Range to archers in exchange for commitments from the state Game Commission to remove invasive plants and to upgrade access to a section closed to the public. Hunting was limited to archery because of nearby homes.

But animal-rights activists filed an injunction against the hunting in August. A judge tossed the case earlier this week. Officials have said they hope bow-hunting will reduce the preserve’s deer population, which they say damages the ecosystem by eating trees and seeds.

But wildlife conservationist Anthony Marr, at the scene Saturday, said that the preserve is actually stimulating the deer population with plots containing Dwarf Essex Rape and other rich foods the animals like.

”They want to cultivate as large a deer population as possible so that the bow-hunters can come in and hunt all they want,” he said.

Game Commission officials could not be reached for comment Saturday. In the past, they have acknowledged observations like Marr’s but say that the plots are designed to create a healthy habitat for all wildlife.

Wolfe and other activists argue that bow-hunting leaves wounds that become infected.

But hunters like Sarah Salukas, who quickly downed a deer Saturday, believe bow-hunting is not cruel if done correctly.

”I would say in general if you get a good shot, no,” said Salukas of East Allen Township. ”This deer was dead in 20 seconds.”

A killing shot usually is done from no more than 30 yards and hits the heart or lungs, the hunters said.

Scott Hillegas of Northampton said he practices different shots in different scenarios to hone his skills.

”If you shoot a deer right like you’re supposed to, the animal is dead in less than 30 seconds,” he said. ”That’s quicker than when it gets hit by a car. That’s quicker than when it has no food.”

Licensed sportsmen can bow-hunt at the preserve during the regular archery deer season, which started Saturday and runs through Nov. 10.

*     *     *

For those not familiar with bow-hunting statistics, surveys in the 1990s showed a consistent approximate-50% non-lethal wounding rate.

*     *     *


Deer Tour itinerary:
CA 2007-07-15 – 2007-07-25
(AR2007 Conference in LA July 19-23)
NV 2007-07-26
UT 2007-07-27
MT 2007-07-29 (mule deer)
States with White-tailed deer below:
ND 2007-08-01
MN 2007-08-02
IA 2007-08-06
WI 2007-08-08
IL 2007-08-12
IN 2007-08-16
MI 2007-08-20
OH 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
NJ 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
PA 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
DE 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
NY 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
CT 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
RI 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
MA 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
NH 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
VT 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
WV 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
MD 2007-08-24 – 2007-10-31
VA 2007-11-01
NC 2007-11-05
SC 2007-11-09
GA 2007-11-12
TN 2007-11-16
AR 2007-11-20
TX 2007-11-23

And this is a shorter-than-average itinerary.

*     *     *


From: Lane Ferrante, project coordinator and events scheduler
4th Compassion for Animals Road Expedition (CARE-4, or Deer Tour)

To: All who oppose sport hunting and urban/suburban deer culling as means of “deer management” or “deer population control”.

You may know about Anthony Marr’s upcoming CARE-4, or Deer Tour, July 13 – December 1, 2007, focused on the Nonviolent Integrated Human-Deer Coexistence Strategy

He intends to challenge the leading hunters and cullers of various communities to public televised debates in a university hall setting, “1-on-1 or 1-against-100, doesn’t matter”.

Anthony believes that this will generate dramatically more media coverage and therefore public interest and support.

“The more heated the confrontation, the more page A1 of an article we’re going to get”. And he has the history to back this up, and the experience to make it work as intended (see the blogs titled “Biggest Anti- vs- Hunter Showdown in History” and “How to Confront 100 Hunters at a Time and Win”).

In at least one of the communities on the Deer Tour, Anthony intends to pin down professional wildlife culler Anthony DeNicola in the public debate arena.

If you are organizing a Deer Tour event, or intends to host one, you might find this idea exciting and efficacious as the main drive of your event. If we do the media releases and follow-up phone calls right, we should have good media coverage, and halls full of hunters.

In 1996, the 25,000-members-strong Western Canada Wilderness Committee, hosted the Anti-Bear-Hunting Referendum Campaign in which Anthony Marr conducted a 60-day, 50-community, anti-hunting debating tour throughout the vast province of British Columbia, and debated hunters (up to120 at a time) at least 40 times, and generated 150 newspaper articles. Paul George, the founder and head of the WCWC, wrote in his new book [Big Trees, Not Big Stumps], “Anthony Marr was fearless… could not be intimidated… actually seemed to thrive on confrontation… his blunt unflappable style infuriated the opposition…”

Why not unleash Anthony Marr on the hunters-cullers of the USA? If you know of a local villain you would like to see defeated in public, here’s your chance! The next such opportunity may not come again in a century, if ever.

I look forward to organizing with you a string of debates from coast to coast.

Lane Ferrante

*     *     *

Anti-deer-hunting/culling article to be in Animals Voice magazine

Without a doubt, the biggest and hottest wildlife issue on US soil concerns deer “management”. Biggest because well over 10 million deer were killed by hunters in 2006, plus another 1 million died in deer-vehicle accidents (DVAs) which also involve human fatalities, plus the fact that massive culling of urban and suburban deer is spreading like wildfire across the land. And hottest because the 30-states-in-5-months (July-December) Compassion for Animals Road Expedition #4 (CARE-4 or Deer Tour) of Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE) is making it so.

The point about DVAs can cause wide-spread controversy and confrontation between hunters and anti-hunters. Hunters blame deer overpopulation for causing the DVAs as justification for the massive killing of deer in the eyes of the non-hunting yet safety-conscious public, but I contend that the DVAs are at least in part deliberately caused by none other than the hunters themselves.

Although only 6% of the American public hunt, they still amount to 20 million hunters, most being deer hunters. To ensure themselves of enough deer to hunt, they use feed plots in the wild to artificially boost the deer population to “overpopulation” levels, which then causes high DVA rates.

Not only this. Ask any major insurance company what day of the year has the highest DVA rate, and you will likely be told that it is the opening day of the deer hunting season, and that the two months of the hunting season account for about half of the year’s DVA total.

The hunter’s is circular logic, by hunters, for hunters. Unfortunately, the public usually sees only one segment of the circle, namely that there is a high DVA rate and therefore deer hunting is a necessary evil. Most have never heard of food plots, which hunters use to boost deer population for hunting purposes, and trophy size.

Even fewer have heard of the New Jersey state constitution’s recently challenged “Title 13”, which stipulated that of the 11 voting members of the Fish and Game council, at least 6 must be “sportsmen”, i.e. hunters, and another 3 must be farmers, who are usually also hunters. It is, as I said, hunting policy by hunters, for hunters.

The second point to be made here will likely arouse an even greater consternation, because the deer killings occur not somewhere out in the mountains, but right in people’s backyards, at all hours including when children are coming home from school or in the middle of the night. Seeing no viable non-lethal alternative, they abide in resignation, even though they abhor the practice.

The culling occurs in one of three ways:

  1. Sharpshooting: e.g., the city of Solon, Ohio, population only 30,000, spent over $500,000 in 2003/2004 to cull 1,000 deer by professional sharpshooter “White Buffalo” Anthony DeNicola. In subsequent years, they’ve had to cull again.
  2. Trap-and-Bolt: by which a 4” steel bolt is fired into the brain of the deer point blank. Sounds simple, but it is not. Bolting is the way by which cows and pigs are killed. Deer are not quite so docile. They thrash around, sometimes breaking their legs in the process, and the bolts hit them in the nose, in the face, in the eyes… Video evidence has it that a net-trapped deer took minutes to die.
  3. Bow hunting: a cruel method even on the standard of hunting, where the non-fatal wounding rate is some 50%, meaning that for every 100 arrow-shot deer, 50 stagger around with arrows imbedded in some non-vital area, for days, weeks, even months. Another stat says that for every deer killed by an arrow, 17 arrows would have been shot, which begs the question as to where the other 16 went.

It is not that non-lethal deer management methods do not exist. There are deer repellents and deer deterrents and fence types and car whistles and Streiter Lights and contraception and relocation technologies in abundance. Proper fencing of a high DVA roadway can reduce the DVAs by over 95%, whereas even if 50% of a deer herd is culled, the DVAs can be reduced by little more than 25%.

And it is not that culling really works in reducing deer population. Of importance is the Compensatory Rebound Effect, by which a sudden increase in food resources due to a sudden decrease in the population induces a high reproductive rate. A culled deer herd can regain full strength in 1-3 years. This necessitates repeated culling, which of course is good for the pocket of the professional culler, and the ego of the amateur killer. On the other hand, the fence, once built will last over 25 years, so it is much more economical in the long run.

The hunting and culling industries maintain that even non-lethal strategies must have lethal components, specifically, that even if the immune-contraception technologies are commercially available, the herd must first be culled down to the desired level before contraception can take over. Not so. Today’s proven one-shot/multi-year techniques can achieve a zero reproductive rate for at least three years. Within 4-5 years, the population will have declined by natural causes to the desired level, when limited fertility can then resume. In the mean time, the initially overpopulated deer can be sustained by supplementary feeding to alleviate the pressure on the environment.

The lethal methods have been riding on delaying the certification of non-lethal methods – that is, delaying the inevitable. Their days are numbered, and they know it, or should. The Deer Tour will exert whatever power at its disposal to hasten their demise.

Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)

*     *     *

Aug 11, 2007, Saturday – 12:47:19 am CDT
Rock County Daily News,
by Ashley Rhodebeck


Controlling the deer population may not mean the animals have to be killed.

It is up to the people to say “No, we don’t want bloodshed in our city. We want a gentler solution,” said anti-hunting activist Anthony Marr, who is set to speak about non-lethal methods during a deer seminar at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Leeson Park on Milwaukee Road.

The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Animal Education Network, and is open to the public.

When faced with too many deer, many agencies – including those in Rock County – rely on killing the creatures.

Brian Buenzow, the area’s DNR wildlife manager, said the state’s standing herd totals between 1.3 and 1.5 million, of which about 500,000 are harvested yearly through gun hunters, bow hunters and vehicle accidents. Without those kills, Buenzow said, “We’d really be up to our eyeballs in deer.”

In Rock County, officials aim to keep the winter deer population to 15 per square miles of deer habitat, which amounts to about 260-square miles of woody and marshy areas, Buenzow said. But, he continued, the county is significantly above that goal.

“It’s a tough thing to manage because we just don’t go out and take deer out of the population,” Buenzow said. “We ask the hunters to do that.”

Fine, but killing deer is the “trigger-happy” solution, Marr said, and it isn’t always effective.

Alternatives should be considered, Marr said, such as injecting does with a $10 vaccine that would make them temporarily infertile. The contraception would be 100 percent effective during the first three years and would drop to 80 percent in year five, he explained…

Killing the deer won’t achieve the same results because of the Compensatory Rebound Effect, Marr claimed. He explained with this example: Say there are 10 does slightly exceeding the carrying capacity of its land. Because of the resource pinch, only three become pregnant with a fawn. At the year’s end there would be 13 deer. Killing five of the 10 won’t help, Marr said, because the remainders would each have fawns – and three would birth two – making the population again 13.

“That tells us that even if you killed half the deer’s population they could bounce back within 1-3 years depending on the habitat, and would need to be culled repeatedly,” Marr said…

Humans could also improve their interactions with deer, Marr said. If the creatures continually nip tulips, plant other species or purchase deer repellents or fences. Using just one of the non-lethal methods may not produce the desired results, Marr said, but combining the techniques should…

*     *     *

Dear all:

I just drove 33 hours from Missoula MT to Beloit WI over the last two days, so I may still be slightly groggy, but even the groggiest anti-hunter is sharper than the least inebriated hunter, right?

… On my way from Missoula MT to Beloit WI, I stopped by Billings to have a meeting with Kirkpatrick. He said, “I don’t mind them not using the technique for social and economic reasons, but I would mind very much if they say it doesn’t work. It works.”

And that is using a rather cumbersome method of using cage traps to capture and inject, given that a cage trap can trapped only one deer per day, and some deer repeatedly go into a trap because there are apples in it. He said that, in the morning, he would often find a tagged deer there, lying down and relaxed. The greatest expense in IC is not the vaccine, but the labor of capture.

Remote darting is an alternative method, but it is unreliable and unsystematic. I asked him what if we use a DAA instead of individual cage-traps… He thought about it a moment, then said that it could work very well, is not stressful to the deer and could save a lot of labor. I also said that if hunters would be glad to volunteer their time to go culling deer in a suburb, so can we come up with volunteers for working the DAA. He nodded again.

One more thing. I’ll be meeting with, get this, the DNR personnel here in the Beloit area who are the ones hands-on shooting deer with their own hands and have been doing so for the last 4 years. I asked Jim Beam who is facilitating the meeting as to why they would want to meet with me. Jim said they were sick and tire of doing it year after year with no end in sight!


*     *     *

August 13, 2007
Janesville Gazette,
Janesville, Wisconsin
by Gina Dunn


People should push local governments to explore using birth control for whitetail deer in Wisconsin to control the urban population without killing, an international wildlife preservationist said Sunday.

Three methods of killing urban deer-sharp shooting, bow hunting and netting-are inhumane and ineffective, Anthony Marr said.

He spoke to nearly 20 people at a seminar sponsored by the Wisconsin Animal Education Network at Leeson Park in Beloit.

Marr said his main point isn’t about hunters who kill deer in the wild but to advocate for nonviolent ways that humans and deer can coexist using the latest non-lethal technology.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which attempts to manage the population through hunting, has not advocated that approach, said Jason Fleener, assistant big game specialist with the DNR.

… The estimated pre-hunt deer population in Wisconsin is between 1.6 million and 1.8 million, up about 100,000 from last year, he said.

Marr proposes that technology be used to vaccinate does with a contraceptive that would be 100 percent effective in urban deer for three years and 80 percent effective by the fifth year.

The Environmental Protection Agency is studying the concept and could certify the two major methods as early as next year, Marr said.

“If the citizens in a certain community want to use non-lethal methods, now is the time for them to propose it to their government,” he said.

Marr outlined his DAA concept, which he has yet to try in America. His system would fence an area and funnel deer in via one-way gates. Once in, the deer could be easily injected, tagged and set free.

“This is a very low-stress technique, very labor-unintensive,” he said. “I think all this technology is mature for implementation and general certification.”

Other non-lethal ways to reduce human-deer conflicts, Marr said, include:
– Repellants – Using sounds, smells, tastes or other items that deer do not like.
– Fencing – Fences are probably the most effective means of controlling deer vehicle accidents. An 8-foot fence on both sides of a road in a highly traffic area can reduce deer-vehicle accidents by 95 percent, Marr said.
– Relocation – Examples show relocating deer can work, he said, even though opponents say it just moves a problem from one place to another. Marr countered that there are low density areas.

… One hunter who attended the seminar said he agreed with some of Marr’s ideas, but he questioned some of the logistics. Justin Feidler of Beloit said he does not believe in trophy hunting and only kills deer for food. He pointed out that deer stuck in fences can be more sickening than those struck by cars. Bow hunting also requires training that many hunters don’t do year-round, which leads to many wounded animals, he said.

“If the birth control for the deer, if it works, that’s great,” he said.

*     *     *


On my CARE-4 tour, I was deeply engaged in the anti-deer-culling campaigns in many American states and cities. One of them is Pepper Pike, Ohio. Pepper Pike employs a very cruel method known as Trap-and-Bolt, using a device called the Clover Trap, and an air gun firing a 4″ bolt into the brain of the deer. The cruelty is two-fold: 1. the need to physically subdue the deer, in which process some deer have reportedly died of fright, and 2. that, with the deer thrashing violently, the bolt often misses the brain and hits the deer in the face, the nose, the ear and the eye instead. Multiple-firings are often required…

Following is from Pepper Ike’s own record, cited as proof of the soundness of the Compensatory Rebound Effect concept, and of the failure of those deer population management programs that disregard it:

Pepper Pike, Ohio – area = 7 sm (sq. mi.), human population = 6,000

2004 deer density (pre-cull) = 31 deer per sq. mi. (according to PP); total deer population (pre-cull) = 31 deer x 7 = 217 deer

2004 – Cull #1 proposed: target – reduce density from 31/sm to 13/sm. It fell short, and ended with 19/sm (according to PP) meaning that about 85 deer were killed.

2004 – Cull opponents said: Culling method won’t work due to the Compensatory Rebound Effect. Once you start culling, you will have to keep on culling year after year, ad infinitum.

2004 – PP city’s response: Once the 13 deer per square mile target has been met, the culling program will stop.

2004 Cull #1 proceeded.

2005 deer density (post Cull #1) = 19 deer per sq. mi., 2005 deer population (post Cull #1) = 7 x 19 = 133 deer Therefore, Cull #1 killed 217 – 133 = 84 deer

2005-10-31 – PP mayor Akers sent out a public letter proposing Cull #2: target – to reduce density from 19/sm to 13/sm, quota should be about 45 deer.

2005 – Culling opponents asked: Once the target is met, the culling program will end?

2005 – PP’s response (not verbatim): We repeat: Once the target is met, the culling program will end.

2005 – Culling opponents asserted: We predicted that the culling will not end even if the 13/sm target is met, and specifically predict that in PP there will be a Cull #3 in 2006, and a Cull #4 in 2007.

2005 – PP’s response: We repeat: Once the target of about 13 deer per square mile (10 – 15) has been met, the culling program will end.

2005 – Culling opponents re-asserted: We repeat: it won’t, and will restart, year after year.

2006 according to PP’s formula, deer density (post Cull #2) should be 13 deer per sm. 2006 according to PP’s formula, deer population (post Cull #2) should be 7 x 13 = 91 deer.

2006 – Cull #3, still targeting 13/sm, did come to pass. Deer killed (#?)

2007 – Mayor Akers’s letter proposes Cull #4, still targeting 13/sm….

2007 – Culling opponents say: Mayor Akers, WE TOLD YOU SO!

2008-1 – Cull #4 about to proceed, Cull #5 already on the mental horizon.

2008-01 – Culling opponents: We rest our case.


*     *     *     *     *




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *