Stop Managed Deer Hunts in Howard County (esp. Blandair Park)
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
(courtesy of Howard County Animal Advocates http://www.animal-advocates.org/info/display?PageID=2023)
Killing deer won’t reduce automobile accidents: Killing some deer does absolutely nothing to prevent the surviving deer from crossing the roads. It even has been suggested that hunting season has a disruptive effect by startling deer and putting them “on the run”. Erie Insurance Group did an independent study and found that deer/ car collisions increase during the beginning of hunting season.
Strieter-Lite Reflectors – which are eligible for 100% funding - create
reflected light that appears to be moving. The intent is to keep deer and
other wild animals from crossing a road until a car passes. Deer and other
wild animals have acute night vision and do not need bright lights to alert or
deter them. To the driver the effect is hardly noticeable because the
reflectors aim light across the road and not back to the drivers. The
reflectors work by setting up what looks to the average deer as a red line
fence when the reflector picks up the light from an approaching car's
headlights. Most of the time (estimates range from 50% - 90% depending on
who did the test) the Strieter reflector stops the deer cold. And that means
that deer/car collisions are reduced significantly. In fact, the Maryland State
Highway Administration (SHA) tested the reflector and found it an effective
tool. Recent data is available via the internet.
In 2007 Strieter Lite Reflectors were installed along Dulaney Valley Road
through Loch Raven Reservoir in Maryland and deer-car collisions have been
dramatically reduced by an estimated 90%.
The Deer Warning System: tells you about deer crossing the road
BEFORE you get there! The Minnesota Department of Transit says the
number of deer related accidents has been cut in half in the test area. There
are a couple of solar powered posts about 50 feet from the roadway that
send an invisible beam to each other. When the beam is broken, a signal is
sent to activate a yellow light on top of deer signs, warning motorists there is
deer activity in the area so they can slow down and drive cautiously to avoid
an accident with deer.
FACT SHEET WITH ALTERNATIVES FOR REDUCING DEER-RELATED ACCIDENTS: http://www.animal-advocates.org/info/file?file=s81m5463.pdf
Hunting does not stop the spread of Lyme disease: Many wildlife species carry the larval and nymph stages of the tick which are most infectious to humans. The tick can be found on 49 bird species and are commonly carried by white-footed mice, chipmunks, grey squirrels, voles, foxes, rabbits, and opossums. When deer numbers are reduced, ticks tend to congregate at higher densities on the remaining deer or switch to alternate hosts.
FACT SHEET: http://www.animal-advocates.org/info/file?file=s81m5464.pdf
Hunting won’t stop deer from eating ornamental flowers and plants: Killing deer because we want to protect certain vegetation does not stop the surviving deer from eating those same plants. Also deer repellants, and fencing techniques designed to minimize garden and landscape damage by deer are recommended.
FACT SHEET: http://www.animal-advocates.org/info/file?file=s81m5462.pdf
I just got off of the phone with the individual who coordinates the "deer hunts" every year in Howard County. I expressed my opposition to the deer "reduction" that is scheduled to occur in the park behind my home. Because most people do not value animals' lives the way I do, I initially brought up my concern about guns being fired in such close proximity to my home. The man told me that the hunt is "archery only". I then expressed my disgust for how inhumane this is - to shoot animals with arrows and watch them suffer as they bleed to death, in pain. He inidicated that they have conducted polls and that the majority of Howard County supports this as a maintenance method for the deer population and that they have been doing these managed hunts for 14 years. I asked him if he thought that the managed hunts were effective if they have been going on for 14 years and there is still a problem with the deer population, and he said yes. I asked if they considered alternatives such as birth control for deer, and he indicated that this would not be humane because there is only one type of birth control available for use with white-tailed deer, and they would have to catch the deer and inject the birth control. In reality, they do not do this because it is more costly.
I do understand the concern that deer can jump out in front of cars, causing accidents. I experienced this firsthand. I still don't want to kill them. And, as a result of my accident with a deer, I have become a safer driver. I have slowed down and I am extra vigilant.
I'll be completely upfront - I am biased. I was raised an animal lover and a vegetarian. I just moved to this neighborhood, and one of my favorite things to do is look out of my back window at the small family of deer grazing in my backyard. I strongly believe that these attempts to manipulate the deer population because they eat our plants or run out into the road is wrong. Deer are not vicious. And sadly, they are an easy target. They stop and stare at you and wait to see if there is a threat. We are not G-d, we are not Mother Nature. Why do we think we should intervene to reduce a population of beautiful, innocent creatures?
Many of you out there may disagree with me. I'm not looking for a debate or a fight. I am simply horrified by what is about to happen and would feel awful if I sat back and watched without at least trying to make a difference.
If you oppose these managed hunts, whether out of concern for the safety of your family due to arrows and/or bullets flying in close range of your home, or due to the inhumane methods used, or for any reason, please sign this petition.
Thanks for your support,