As a hunter who enjoys all forms of wildlife, I really find it necessary to respond to Daniel J. Carson of Cleveland, Ohio, concerning his letter “hunting and ‘managing’ wildlife is misguided” (Nov. 29).
I suggest Mr. Carson check with reputable wildlife biologists and he will find that study after study has shown that: with the human urbanization of much of the original fertile farmland areas (especially evident in the surrounding Cleveland suburbs) being converted to housing and commercial developments, the deer and other wildlife, who were here first, have been left no choice but to find a way to adapt and live among us humans.
With little or no pressure from natural predators due to loss of habitat and urbanization, the deer have just done what nature intended them to do: populate, and at times in uncontrolled numbers.
I’m trying to remember, as Mr. Carson states, when the Ohio Division of Wildlife began relocating deer “into suburban areas, where for the longest time they were once absent.”
To my recollection, the division of wildlife (and many other communities for that fact including the Cleveland area) have had to take extraordinary and costly steps throughout the years including trying to relocate deer out of “urban” areas into other less populated areas.
They have even studied the ridiculous idea of using contraceptives, etc., to help control the deer herd in Ohio, but none being successful.
The division, through the combined efforts again of both responsible hunters and wildlife management experts, has taken a deer herd from one of almost extinction in the early 1900s to one of the healthiest deer herds in the continental United States.
The mere fact that Ohioans can enjoy much of our wildlife has only been possible through the controlled hunting opportunities instituted many years ago and the continued effective wildlife management practices employed by responsible wildlife biologists.
Mr. Carson also needs to check how his tax money is really spent. He indicates that 6 percent of the population hunts and uses everyone else’s tax money to help fund the division, when in fact operating revenue is mainly through the sale of licenses and contributions.
Now, if only 6 percent of the population is purchasing a hunting license, I’m wondering what the other 94 percent are doing to help support the wildlife we all enjoy? Does Mr. Carson or any other nonhunter check the little box on their tax return contributing anything toward wildlife management?
Let’s not forget that these seemingly harmless deer cause about $46.4 million damage per year in Ohio to crops. And that farmers and hunters have combined in many states, including Ohio, under “Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry” to provide over 6 million meals since 1997-2000 to help feed the hungry.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife has done a wonderful job of controlling and managing not only the deer herd, but other wildlife in the state. I suggest Mr. Carson look at possible mismanaged building and zoning issues, and the vanishing landscape in Ohio as a primary cause for his concerns.