Use these to push your deer problems off on the neighbors and motorists...
Before we delve into the topic of "Non-Lethal" alternatives to regulated deer hunting, let's understand a couple of important facts.
FACT #1 - There is absolutely no substitute for, nor is there anything wrong with, the controlled, humane, sustained harvest of any renewable resource.
FACT #2 - Contraceptives are not only unproven except on small, tightly controlled research groups, but they are exceedingly expensive to administer and maintain. The latest research indicates that a contraceptive called PZP (the "porcine zona pellucida" vaccine) has been developed for use, and another vaccine called GonaCon is currently undergoing controlled field studies. So does this mean these drugs can be used to solve overpopulation problems? Before you say yes, consider these points:
Neither of these vaccines has the approval of the Food and Drug Administration;
Neither of these vaccines has the approval of a single state wildlife management agency;
Neither of these vaccines has proven effective on free-ranging herds; since these products require annual inoculation it requires marking and tracking each and every animal to record and keep track of when a particular animal needs a booster shot. This is simply impractical and cost prohibitive - and even the people working to develop the vaccines admit this.
So knowing what you know - Will you support a tax increase in your town to pay for such a program (if and when it ever becomes a reality)? Will you be willing to open your checkbook and pay the tab for a solution youíre pushing for? These drugs also pose a whole new set of man-made problems for nature - what effect will the meat of a sterilized deer have on the animals who might consume it? What about the byproducts that enter the soil? It seems to us that sterilizing deer is a pretty unnatural response to a pretty natural occurrence.
FACT #3 - There are many types of "deer repellents" on the market. For homeowners not wishing to take part in an urban hunting program, or for those whose properties are not suitable for hunting, we strongly suggest that you explore one or more of the following methods or products.
FACT #4 - Use of deer repellents, while providing relief for the homeowner, does not solve the problem of overpopulation. It merely shifts the burden to other parts of the ecosystem where it will ultimately be controlled by your neighbors through regulated hunting practices, or by auto collisions, disease, and starvation. Either way the population will be controlled. The only choice you need to make is if youíre willing to choose the humane solution, or let cars and an out-of-balance ecosystem deal with the excess numbers in itís own harsh way. If you choose the latter, just remember that sometimes deer arenít the only ones who pay the price in roadway collisions.
THE NATURAL SOLUTION
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Whitetail Management Associates of Greater Pittsburgh
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