Susan Gordon is an amazing letter writer. She never
minces words, cuts to the quick, and her logic is impeccable.
C.A.S.H. has asked Susan to take on some of the letter writing
needed to respond to articles and other letters. The following
letter was written in response to a letter titled, “Don’t Imperil
People to Protect Animals” which argued that we can’t be soft
on deer for they are causing car accidents.
Here she goes…
HUNTING INCREASES POPULATIONS AND
THUS DEER CAR COLLISIONS
The Erie Insurance Company noted that the number
of deer/car collisions rose nearly five times on the first day
of buck season and doe season. The National Highway Traffic and
Safety Administration also stated that most deer/car collisions
happen during hunting season.
Collision numbers are manipulated to protect hunting.
In 1993, The Director of the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game
and Wildlife stated, "The actual impact of deer-auto collisions
has been greatly exaggerated. This approach is invalid, because
approximately half of all deer vehicle collisions do not involve
any damage...Deer-vehicle collisions seldom result in personal
State wildlife agencies know that hunting increases
deer population and deer/car collisions. In 1978, NYS regional
wildlife manager Terry Moore admitted, "We will attempt
to increase the number of deer until we experience high incidences
of deer-car collisions, depredation of agricultural crops becomes
intolerable, and/or the effects on deer habitat begin to result." What
works? Deer reflectors have been proven to reduce deer/car collisions
from 60% to 100%.
[In 2001, during the time hunters were hoping to
introduce elk into NYS, the Buffalo News [Michael
Levy, 9/16/01) ran an article about Pennsylvania’s elk program.
While it was intended to be pro-hunting, it was in fact an expose
of wildlife management.]
The article stated: "The restocking of [elk]…has
been so successful that there are now some worries about agricultural
depredation and car-elk collisions. But that is not why the Game
Commission is authorizing the first elk hunt in more than 70
years. The fact is we want to increase the elk herd significantly,
and a very conservative hunting program can do that. ‘My job
is to show the public that hunting is a tool that can actually
improve the herd's size and health,’ says elk biologist Rawley
Cogan: "If we reduce the herd by 14 percent,
we will have a much higher replacement rate of younger, healthier
specimens. It's hard to make people see that, because say 'hunting'
and people think of reducing the herd, not helping it to increase." AND "We
have a million deer hunters in this state who hunt that herd
hard and we still have trouble keeping deer numbers in line with
The article states, "If it works, over the
years, the elk herd will expand and hunting opportunities will
slowly increase to continue to achieve management goals."
The "management goals" are always the
same - increase the population of game species, blame the animals
for the increase, and assure the public that more hunting is
the only solution.
Go to www.all-creatures.org/cash if
you would like to learn more about destructive wildlife management