Don't know what the current situation is but back 20 years or so when I was
taking some classes at UCONN, there was a pretty little pond on the campus
that had a resident flock of geese. The vicinity looked like the dog
population of midtown Manhattan had been using it for a dog-walk, and the
geese were known to chase students. The consensus was that there should be
one big goose dinner for the student body, but the animal-rights twits and
the Bambi Appreciation Society and the rest of the Politically Active
Banana-Brains held rallies and raised consciousness and great clouds of
Marijuana smoke every time it was proposed so nothing ever got done. I
hope sanity won, but suspect that either (a) the geese are still there, or
(b) they were captured and transported at great expense to some other
locale, probably a reservoir, from which they no doubt promptly flew back.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
You can say that again. They're scary critters. I must see an average of
five dead ones on every trip. At least. I don't envy the people who hit
them, or the people who have to clean up their bloated carcasses either.
The way I hear it, trees were almost extinct in the state in '28 too. They
seem to have bounced back pretty well also.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I eat meat; don't have much of a problem with most hunting; but I do
think we owe the animals we kill and eat more respect and decency than
they get on those industrial feed and slaughter operations.
As to the explosion of deer and geese populations, widely noted across
the U.S., I would put money on it being a result of the loss of other
species less adaptable to human-dominated environments. In other
words, we have more deer/geese because we have fewer of any number of
other critters that used to live in the same locale, eating the same
things, but less able to survive close to people. This does not bode
well for the future--it means the overall livability of our world is in
Hunting more of these animals is not the answer--in Missouri the kills
during deer season have risen steadily for years, but we still have
"too many" (read this as "too many, too close to too many people").
The answer has more to do with other factors--urban sprawl, road
construction, pressure on habitat of less adaptable species. Think of
deer (geese/squirrel/oppossum/raccoon) "over-population" as a
symptom--in a truely healthy environment they would be kept in check by
competition; in an environment evermore skewed toward urban/industrial
humans (you 'n' me) they are a kind of pre-cancerous growth--the
This probably has something to do with woodworking, and with my op
about yp, but I'm too tired to find it now <g>.
You would lose your money.
Bag the environmentalist cant (rant?) and think. Other than ungulates, what
is there that can eat grass for a living? It's the neighborhood that counts.
Where chow is abundant, the population expands to consume it. Same-o
'coons, geese and such. Until they reach the carrying capacity of the
neighborhood, that is. Then they have to move or starve. Same thing for
those predators the folks who preach more "humane" killing of livestock keep
talking about. They'll expand to the chow available, when available, then
move or crash.
To return, somewhat, to woodworking, one way of reducing the deer population
is to allow climax forest to predominate. It's poor deer forage, which is
why it can grow past their predations. Yes, he said "predations," because
to a clump of brome an encounter with a deer can be a deadly experience.
Other ways in current vogue are to allow the population to thin itself by
disease - CWD, brainworm in moose, and so forth. Disease is rarely a
problem in a small population - paths of infection make it difficult to
build an epidemic, especially when the infectious agent which preys (there,
he said it again) on the target causes death of the host before it can find
Your canary is singing the wrong song. He should sing a song of plenty, not
Oh yes, in spite of overpopulation, we still have only limited doe hunting
here. Kill a buck - reduces the population by one. Kill a doe, usually by
three. We could use some doe liberation.
Are you willing to pay higher prices for it is the key question...or buy
from US producers who do over cheaper importers who don't? The answer
to those questions has always been "yes" on the tongue, "no" from the
Not so, Scott. I did not say (with what must be Homer Simpson's voice)
"four legs good. . . ." Nor do I believe this rediculous reductionism.
At least George (above) presents logical argument, but I think his
points only support my thesis: we have a deer (sub. any critter here)
so-called "overpopulation" because of human urban practices (not the
least of which is our failure to see the bigger picture).
Deer do not eat just grass--around here they are quite fond of corn,
the occasional acorn, tender tree branches, lots of things that grow in
the margins. As humans alter the environment, urbanizing what were
once "rural" areas, we create more margins, "find" more deer, and
experience more human/deer encounters. This is not a good or a bad
thing itself. It does illustrate the ways we are changing the world.
George's reasoning leaves out the other factors in population dynamics,
food availability being only one. True, deer ('coon, 'possum) seem to
have found abundant forage in urbanizing areas; other critters do not
fair so well.
nospam seems to think (?) the answer to the problem is "shoot first",
or "shoot the messenger". My point is that our acknowledged "deer
trouble" isn't specific to deer. It bespeaks a bigger problem, and
focusing on just one aspect of it (deer populations/hunting) is myopic
and stupid. I would certainly welcome more climax forests, as this
would no doubt address these bigger-picture issues.
Yes, my canary is singing, George, but not the song you think I've
heard. It isn't singing about "lack"--that isn't part of my argument.
It is singing about the price of certain kinds of "abundance".
Statements like "the overall livability of our world is in decline" and "our
failure to see the bigger picture" followed by "focusing on just one aspect
of it ... is myopic and stupid" really get under my skin.
It is in itself arrogant, and to use your word.... myopic. The U.S. has 2.3
billion acres of land. However, 375 million acres are in Alaska. The land
area of the lower 48 states is approximately 1.9 billion acres.
To put things in perspective, keep in mind that California is 103 million
acres, Montana 94 million acres, Oregon 60 million acres and Maine 20
million acres.Despite all the hand wringing over sprawl and urbanization,
only 66 million acres are considered developed lands. This amounts to 3
percent of the land area in the U.S.
Rural Residential Land-This category comprises nearly all sprawl and
subdivisions along with farmhouses scattered across the country The total
acreage for rural residential is 73 million acres. Of this total, 44 million
acres are lots of 10 or more acres.
Developed and rural residential make up 139 million acres, or 6.1 percent of
total land area in the U.S. This amount of land is not insignificant until
you consider that we planted more than 80 million acres of feeder corn and
another 75 million acres of soybeans (95 percent of which are consumed by
livestock, not tofu eaters) last year alone. These two crops affect more of
the land area of the U.S. than all the urbanization, rural residential,
highways, railroads, commercial centers, malls, industrial parks and golf
Cropland- About 349 million acres in the U.S. are planted for crops. This is
the equivalent of about four states the size of Montana. Four crops --
feeder corn (80 million acres), soybeans (75 million acres), alfalfa hay (61
million acres) and wheat (62 million acres) -- make up 80 percent of total
crop acreage. All but wheat are primarily used to feed livestock.
The amount of land used to produce all vegetables in the U.S. is less than 3
Range and Pasture Land- Some 788 million acres, or 41.4 percent of the U. S.
excluding Alaska, are grazed by livestock. This is an area the size of 8.3
states the size of Montana. Grazed lands include rangeland, pasture and
cropland pasture. More than 309 million acres of federal, state and other
public lands are grazed by domestic livestock. Another 140 million acres are
forested lands that are grazed.
Forest Land- Forest lands comprise 747 million acres. Of these lands, some
501 million acres are primarily forest (minus lands used for grazed forest
and other special categories).
The USDA report concludes that urbanization and rural residences
(subdivisions) "do not threaten the U.S. cropland base or the level of
agricultural production." This does not mean sprawl doesn't have impacts
where it occurs. But the notion that sprawl is the greatest threat to
biodiversity is absolutely false.
Which is why my garden is so attractive that I have to have that electrified
fence around it.
Yep, crop and grazing improvements make good deer grub, though, strangely,
they didn't graze the Sudan grass on the north forty much at all.
Mel: I did not say "sprawl is the greatest threat to biodiversity. . .
." I did say, relative to the perceived deer population "explosion",
it is indicative of the consequences of human/urban development. No
great leap to conclusions here.
For that matter, to take up your well-enumerated points, our industrial
farming is hardly a boon to biodiversity. Given that so many more
acres of land are devoted to this kind of urbanized development (and
modern industial agriculture is not a "rural" enterprise in anything
other than location) I would say your logic only reinforces my
In that regard, practices on the mechanized, mega-acre food factories
are more responsible for the "urbanization" of the countryside than is
development sprawl. We just see the effects on the edges of our towns
and cities--i.e. deer as pests. (Urban hunters are only asking to also
regard them as a protein source, thus killing the "proverbial" two
birds.) Either way, we are consuming diversity at an increasing rate
(killing, in the process, the "literal" two birds). I know of no
reason to consider this is a good trend.
But there's no doubt (simply check the game commission statistics for
almost any state) that the total numbers of deer are up---well up in
many places, owing for at least a major extent, to the combination of
ready food supply and no or very limited predatory pressures. Some
areas <are> literally "run over" even well inside very well developed
Once again Duane it's a matter of perspective. Game commission statistics
are gathered from known numbers of "harvested" deer. It's physically
impossible to actually count the deer. These statistics are skewed based on
a limited amount of information. Taking into account the increasing
popularity of the sport, surely you can see how an increased "harvest" can
be misconstrued as an increase in overall population. Furthermore, game
management for the sole purpose of increasing deer population by land owners
who depend on the income from deer leases can also contribute to this.
However, we are not simply discussing an increase in the overall population
of game. Intentional or unintentional. We are discussing the plausibility
of an "explosion" of epic proportions that is indicative of a decline in the
livability of our world. In essence.... a plague of deer.
You can argue this from whatever perspective you wish. You can say an
increase in the deer population means we are doing something wrong.... or
you can say the increase means we are doing something right. Until I see
the browse lines in all the wooded areas at 6 feet I don't intend to be too
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