Blue Hills deer hunt should be reconsideredBy Canton Citizen
As the days of the Blue Hills deer hunt draw near, the controversy continues as to whether or not it is necessary. For four days after Thanksgiving, 196 hunters will be allowed to kill up to four deer each (two with antlers, two without). These deer have not been hunted for 100 years and their disadvantage is that they do not understand that the humans who once protected them will now harm them. Some are anticipating what will be considered a “bloodbath.”
Proponents of this hunt state that the overpopulated deer are eating the important new growth of the forest. We are all in agreement that there were too many deer in the area. But the survey the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife conducted in only three nights in May 2013 was well before this harsh winter’s kill of many deer. To have an accurate count, this survey should be repeated before a hunt is sanctioned.
Popular belief is that the deer are the main culprits of Lyme disease and that if we get rid of the deer, we get rid of the risk. Research has now challenged that myth and states that it is the small rodents in the forest that spread the disease. Dr. Tamara Awerbuch from the Harvard School of Public Health states in her report (Nov. 23, 2010), “Killing deer is not the answer to reducing Lyme.”
The current plan includes closing roads and hiring rangers, environmental police and state police. Authorities are justly concerned about the frightened deer running into nearby neighborhoods, roads and highways, which has the potential to effect public safety. Surprisingly, the cost of this hunt was not compared to how much it would cost to humanely use contraception methods (utilizing a tranquilizer dart gun). The MSPCA, the Animal Rescue League, and the Humane Society of the United States have combined to oppose this hunt and have requested that the DCR meet to discuss wildlife fertility control projects that the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the HSUS have worked on with other states.
The Friends of the Blue Hills Deer have protested at the State House and on Route 138. They will continue to protest during the hunt. For those of you who continue to think that killing hundreds of deer is the best method, go to the parking lot after a day of the hunt to witness what you have condoned. To quote Albert Schweitzer, “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
The current plan is to allow the hunt to continue for several years. Call the governor’s office and your state representatives to stand up for those who don’t have a voice.
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