Urban Deer Kills: Follow the Money

Op-ed by Lane Ferrante as it appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Follow the urban deer kill straight to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW). The ODOW is a pro-hunting state agency with vested interests. Their only recommendation is to kill wildlife, no matter the situation. The sale of hunting licenses pays their salaries and serves their only constituency (hunters).  Hunters demand more, not less, deer—and ODOW delivers.
Deer are the economic engine generating revenue for the ODOW.

Hunting/gun and ammo manufacturing interests profit from the scientifically invalid claim that deer need to be “managed.” They are managed—managed into overpopulation (or managed into growing bigger trophy bucks) through habitat manipulation, intentional breeding, and through hunting, itself, which increases deer numbers (by increasing fertility).

“Wildlife management, to facilitate hunting opportunities, has been a key contributor to deer overpopulation. Traditional deer management centered for years on the maximum sustained yield model. Under this form of management, deer populations are maintained year to year at a level that produces maximum recruitment with the maximum number of animals available for hunters to harvest…”  [Audubon Society, white paper report, “Forest Health and Ecological Integrity”, March 2005]

ODOW self-servingly offers itself to town councils, as the experts with the answers. Council members are relieved to have a politically expedient, if counter-productive, plan to present to the public. It is easier than reading the actual data and promoting innovative, humane, effective solutions.  It is an uphill battle, fighting laziness, intransigence, and greed—but a winnable one, if public service prevails over political expediency.

Due to the decline in hunting, the National Fish and Game agency instituted a marketing strategy to retain and recruit hunters. This has become the established blueprint for foisting hunts on the public: create urban hunting zones to keep a dying “sport” alive.

Once hunting ordinances are passed, and deer mis-management programs are in place, they are deemed a success and continued from year to year with no evaluation of their lack of effectiveness.  The public deserves better. The deer pay with their lives, communities are torn asunder, and deer populations are intentionally exploded.

Mass slaughter of a gentle species, that is demonized by the intentional actions of those who profit (recreationally and monetarily) from their suffering, will end when citizens demand humane, effective solutions, such as the installation of Strieter Lites or the DeerDeter Wildlife Crossing Guard, which have been proven to prevent deer-vehicle-accidents.

The deer need your help in your communities. To prevent/terminate the killing, join us. Not only will you be saving deer, but also other wildlife (likewise victimized through hunting), domestic animals (killed, accidentally—or intentionally, for kicks, by hunters), and humans (hunting dramatically increases deer-car collisions and routinely injures non-hunters). You will also be a proponent of property rights: hunters act with impunity against property owners who do not want animals tormented and killed on their property. The small percent of Ohioans who hunt (6 %) make all decisions affecting wildlife in Ohio. It is time for us to protect our wildlife, human and animal family members, and homes from the bullies.
If you want to learn more about culling and wish to stop this barbaric practice, please visit www.nocull.com and sign up to become involved.

Education and community involvement, not violence, are the key to solving real or perceived conflicts between wildlife and people.

Lane Ferrante is the OH coordinator of the League of Humane Voters. She has researched the cruelty and ineffectiveness of organized deer kills for the past 15 years and offers this data to concerned communities and individuals, assisting them in choosing humane, effective strategies for peacefully coexisting with wildlife.


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561