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Valley Forge Park sets deer shoots after year's delay

October 05, 2010 | Deer / Hunting & Wildlife Management


The permit has been approved for our group by the Park administration and the Superintendent has signed it.

Meet us in the parking lot near the bicycle rentals and restrooms. That is officially the First Amendment Zone and on Park maps it is identified as:

"Lower Welcome Center Parking Lot."

Look for the bright blue Friends of Animals banner.

IMPORTANT: Watch this space for further updates regarding forthcoming demonstrations and public education in the National Park as well as legal restraints filed for by Friends of Animals in this case.

Inquirer article follows.

By Jeff Gammage
Inquirer Staff Writer

Officials at Valley Forge National Historical Park say deer will be shot there starting next month, ending a yearlong delay and commencing a controversial plan to dramatically thin the herd.

An animal-rights group responded to Monday's announcement with an immediate pledge to demonstrate at the park. And an attorney said he might seek a restraining order to try to stop the shooting. Read more.


Photos of today's protest in support of the Valley Forge deer are available in the open Facebook album here: More to come. Of the people who spoke with us, everyone we met except one said these words: "We want the deer; we like them"; "We fully support what you're doing"; and -- quite commonly: "I run [bike] here every day. They are as gentle as pets. What is the matter with the Park, that they could even think of this?" A special thank-you to New Yorker David Forjan who drove four hours each way to stand and be heard for the deer. Our messages: LET THEM ROAM! IT'S THEIR HOME!

I wish I could be there but I am working - I will be there in spirit!

One note on your comment, Priscilla Ferrater Mora: While it makes sense that predators, like all animals, increase or decrease in population according to their food supply, the legal situation in Pennsylvania imposes human hunting and trapping on coyotes all year round. The wolves were chased out of this state long ago and now humans lack respect for the smaller yet capable predators who have arisen in their place. The ethically and ecologically right thing to do? Respect predator animals instead of claiming that there aren't enough and therefore humans need to artificially prevent births or bear down on animals with bows or rifles. This domineering cycle needs to be addressed and Friends of Animals is doing just that with our Coyote Coexistence Initiative:

This outrage against the deer must be stopped - permanently. We must all raise our voices together to protest this insidious plan by government officials to shoot most of the deer in the park and impose contraceptives on those few who manage to escape the shooters' guns. If the words "Justice for All" are more than an empty slogan, they must include those who are the most defenseless against human oppression. Let us hope that the voices of gentle people will be heard above the din of lies and deception, and that reason will prevail.

Plan your visit to Valley Forge! Directions (including GPS) for tomorrow's vigil: Meet us at: “Lower Welcome Center Parking Lot”

Deer management is necessary!!...ESPECIALLY in an urban enviroment where natural predators are few (although vehicles are plenty!). As hunters, we only take what we use & if they are managed properly, it ensures their health & safetly.

It used to be believed that predators controlled prey. We now know the reverse is true: prey control predator numbers because the prey animal is food for the predator. Predators, like all animals, increase or decrease according to their food supply. PNC, Inc offered to fence the 4 10 acre forested plots that the Park claimed--without evidence--the deer were destroying. They rejected the offer. Even assuming that their reasons for killing the deer are to protect the "forest," their plan makes no sense. If they manage to kill 500 deer this years as projected, that will still leave 500 or more deer to eat the understory. Next year they plan to kill another 500 deer which will still leave a number of deer to munch on the understory. The same for year three,etc. So, although they claim the damage is dire, and something must be done at once, their slaughter plans will not allow for regrowth of the understory since there are always deer remaining to say nothing of additional deer that will be born due to compensatory reproduction that takes place when large numbers are suddenly removed. So, even if one did not care about the deer, their plan is absurd and a waste of $3-5 million tax dollars. No wonder people lack faith in their government: both Casey and Sestak have been lobbied and apparently choose not only to ignore this waste of public money, but also to ignore the wishes of the vast majority who enjoy seeing the deer. What is the real motive behind this scheduled blood bath?

Not being a resident of the USA, I am un-aware of the situation at Valley Forge Park. However, similar circumstances are experienced throughout the world, even in our National Parks. I must agree with Matthew McLaughlin, so much so, that I trust he will not mind me quoting him. “Driving safely is not, and should not, be considered an inconvenience, as that’s how everyone who operates an automobile should be driving.” - Matthew McLaughlin. Dustin Rhodes' remark about “wildlife management — a euphemism for domination and control”, is also practiced in ‘nature reserves and parks’ all over our planet. There are other comments which I would like to mention, but obviously I have to stop somewhere. So once again, it comes down to the morals and ethics of Man, which seems to be that the Neanderthal’s killer instinct has not evolved out of us yet and makes Bridget W. Irons' comment, using journalist and novelist Martha Gellhorn’s remark “Never believe governments, not any of them ..." oh so true!

It makes me sick. Anytime the government/policy makers decides that an animal is in their way (for whatever reason) the first solution is to kill. The world does not belong to humans to destroy and kill animals. We humans are to share the space we live in with all living creatures. I once enjoyed Prospect Park in Brooklyn--feeding all the birds, geese,swans,pigeons. Recently without any public vote or notification these beautiful birds were slaughtered (shot and gassed). This is animal abuse- Cruel and Inhumane- which I though was against the law. When will it end?

i am a member of friends of animals the planned deer shoot is a crime against humanity show mercy and stop discrediting your state iris s carr


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