Some environmentalists, especially in urban areas, oppose hunting to cull the herds and argue instead for deer "birth control." Yet contrary to persistent urban legend, there's no handy oral deer contraceptive we can slip into a pile of acorns. Nor is there a permanent contraceptive that can be delivered with a single shot from a dart gun. Currently available immunocontraceptive agents have no effect on 10%-15% of the treated does. Even when they're effective the first year, booster shots are needed in subsequent years.Perhaps I'm callous to the charms of our four footed friends (I like deer well enough, whether on the hoof or in sausage, but my commute is down a veritable deer suicide alley with up to five deer to be seen lying by the side of the road any given day depending on the time of year) but this seems like the sign of a society which has lost all touch with basic realities. There are rational reasons for having pets "fixed". They live with us in our houses, so we have to live with their uncontrolled sex drives if they aren't, and since they're domesticated it's easy to take them into the vet for the old snip, snip. However, deer are wild animals. Sterilizing them or putting them on birth control is wildly impractical. And let's be honest: a deer is also a walking piece of meat. Far better to harvest more of them when the population gets too large than to resort to such quixotic measures.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Frankly, My Deer, I Don't Give a Bam!
In a bizarre entry in the "birth control makes everything better" files of our modern society, environmentalists have apparently latched onto the idea of providing rapidly growing deer populations with birth control rather than simply allowing more hunting: