Having to hire people to hunt deer in suburban areas

Possibly we could consider lowering the fees to get hunting permits? My guess is that lowering deer populations in rural areas will reduce the number of deers in the suburbs.

Phil Norman wriggled into his blood-splattered overalls and got ready to shoot some deer. He had everything he needed for an evening hunting trip: a Remington Model 700 rifle, night-vision binoculars and a map of the terrain.

Not that it was particularly hard terrain to navigate.

Norman was stalking white-tailed deer amid the suburban cul-de-sacs of Columbia. Just a few hundred yards from where a little girl had been playing on a yellow swing on Nightshade Court, he crept, under cover of darkness, through part of a 300-acre park. Before he was done, he shot six deer.

Norman, a Howard County employee, said he aims away from the houses, uses a silencing device and takes only shots that could not ricochet toward people. County rules prevent him from firing within 150 yards of any occupied structure.

"It might sound strange to think of deer SWAT teams in the suburbs," said Norman, 50, a soft-spoken pastor with wire-rimmed glasses. "But if we don't do something pretty soon the deer will be stampeding down the streets." . . . .

Now they are relying more and more on sharpshooters and police SWAT teams to hunt the animals even in some densely populated neighborhoods.

The District and Fairfax and Montgomery counties --not to mention private citizens -- have hired professional sharpshooters to kill the animals.

There are perhaps a dozen registered deer sharpshooters in the region. . . .


Blogger Dad29 said...

We've been hiring sharpshooters in SE Wisconsin for several years.

Here, they occupy treetops, work during the daylight hours...

Hardly makes a difference. Bambi's winning the demographic war.

5/05/2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

I agree, Bambi is winning the demographic war and there are real costs in terms of lost human lives (e.g., car accidents with deer) and illness (lyme disease). Hiring people to hunt is one thing, though it would be nice if we increased the rate of hunting by changing the rules and fees generally. There is some substitution between having to pay people to hunt and allowing more people who want to hunt to do so.

5/05/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous dave casaceli said...

Wow, it would be nice if they could lower the prices on out of state permits, I'd be there in a second. Many Deer management programs need to take a close look to see if they are doing what's best for both the human and deer population. I encourage my Game and Parks commision to review Iowa's highly acclaimed policies for adoption every year to no avail.

5/05/2006 1:40 PM  
Anonymous John Sloon said...

Where do I apply?

5/05/2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Well, Dr. Lott, common sense and Wisconsin's Dep't of Natural Resources have yet to meet...

5/06/2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

And, John Sloon--the municipalities hire the sharpshooters. You could apply at the City of Mequon, or the City of Brookfield.

Start with your $zillion liability insurance policy in force...

NO, you don't get to keep the meat. That goes to the various feed-the-poor programs in the area (fine by me...)

Don't know about the racks, though.

5/06/2006 2:31 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear dad29:

The problem is that in this case I think that it pays for government officials to maximize current revenue even if it means substantially less money in the future. The age of the hunting population is aging rapidly and if the problem isn't addressed soon, I am not sure that the hunting population will be able to recover.

5/06/2006 2:32 PM  

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