Saturday, September 24, 2011
A single article in Princeton's Town Topics brings all sorts of exciting news from the animal kingdom.
It seems that Princeton's deer population has doubled in just a year, and the herd is infected with a hideous cervine disease, "epizootic hemorrhagic disease." In my experience, the word "hemorrhagic" is always bad news. In a rare moment of candor, a member of the Princeton Township Committee actually admitted that it was "very unfortunate" that they had suspended their contract with the professional hunting firm White Buffalo.
Professional control of the huge deer herd in Princeton has been extremely controversial, largely because of a vocal -- and asinine -- group of animal rights activists going back at least a decade. The loonier of the local liberals would prefer that we thin the herd with ineffective and expensive contraception, our automobiles, and epidemics than through controlled shooting.
Fortunately, the political tide has turned a bit, and it looks as though Princeton will return to responsible management of its venison. And we can help the poor, too!
Committeewoman Sue Nemeth asked for clarification about what happens to the meat from hunted deer, and was told that after being handled by a USDA-approved butcher, it goes to Hunterdon and Warren County soup kitchens.
Apparently the soup kitchens in Princeton's Mercer County, which includes the relatively poor town of Trenton, do not want venison. The article does not say whether the obstacle was bureaucracy, logistics, or the culinary preferences of the beneficiaries.
Let's just hope they test the donated meat for that hemorrhagic business, because we surely don't need for any more of those hideous diseases to jump to primates.
Here in California we had a large deer population on one of our islands offshore. They were an invasive species, they were eating endangered planted and they had no natural predators. Senator Diane Feinstein made sure the herds were destroyed by Navy snipers firing from helicopters, instead of by hunters who would have paid to do it. I know, shooting from helicopters is terrible and everything, but if it keeps the state from making money from the hunters, it's all good.
It's nice that Princeton is contracting with professional hunters, but consider an alternative: hold a lottery for bowhunting permits at a cost of $100 per. Same results, but with a net inflow rather than outflow of cash. Unfortunately suburban, local government types are usually reflexively anti-hunting, a neurosis the taxpayer is then forced to subsidize.
As tyree said, deer have essentially no natural predators in an urban or semi-urban environment. Without a well-run management program they will become a nuisance.
Why shouldn't the state make money from hunters who voluntarily pay to have a recreational experience.
It is better than using tax dollars to achieve the same objective, and generates positive cash flow for the state.
Apparently, the satire was a little too subtle. Over the decades, CA has burdened itself with a colossal debt, and the progressive politician would rather spend more than allow hunters to hunt. They may not hate us, but it sure looks that way.