Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Deer in the Suburbs

The idea that deer are a problem to be managed rather than tolerated is entering the mainstream, if it hasn’t already arrived. The Connecticut DEP is conducting a reduction program at Bluff Point Coastal Reserve, in Groton, and a more secretive reduction program took place in Lloyd Harbor, on Long Island (Newsday had the story and I linked to it last month, but stories disappear from Newsday’s for-free website after two weeks, so I lost it). Greenwich Audubon has a deer management plan that includes bow hunting. And the Town of Greenwich wants to thin the deer herd at three town parks next month.

When I first posted about the Town of Greenwich’s plan, the website of the company that will do the work was offline. Today’s Greenwich Time has a fascinating story about the firm, White Buffalo Inc., and when I checked their website today, it was back up.

White Buffalo is new to me, but it’s been around since 1999, apparently, and has worked in New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Rhode Island and New York.

“Abundance of vehicle collisions, Lyme disease, landscape or garden damage, and ecological damage (i.e., severe browse line, no regeneration) are the four most common conflicts that motivate a community to inquire about our services,” the website says.

The site talks about five control methods, and gives their cost per deer: trap and relocate ($400 to $2,931), fertility control (about $1,000), sharpshooting ($91 to $300), controlled hunting ($162 to $622), and trap and euthanasia ($400 minimum).

I was interested to see that, in a stroke of Orwellian brilliance, sharpshooting is also called “remote euthanasia.”


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