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Valley Forge Body Count: 225 Deer--as Lawsuit to Stop Plan Moves to Appeals Phase

December 07, 2010 | Deer

Sharpshooters cull 225 deer at Valley Forge

By Anthony R. Wood

...U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters killed 225 deer in November, Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said today.

...The cull, in which deer are lured to baited areas and shot, is "reprehensible," said Lee Hall of Friends of Animals. The group is appealing a judge's decision that allowed the cull to proceed. "It certainly goes against the history and the peace of the park."

...The Friends group opposes coyote-hunting and says that if it ended in Pennsylvania, coyote numbers eventually would increase inside the park.

...Heister would not even disclose the dates of the November shoots, only that they occurred in "one week." After four years of shootings, Valley Forge would try to limit the population with chemical birth-control agents if an "effective" one became available.

Hall said.."The ethical thing would be to respect their birthright. This is where they come from, this is where they [were] born. They belong there."

Click to read full story at the The Philadelphia Inquirer.


I wonder where the outrage is from Animals Rights groups about the slaughter of hundreds of mammals including red and grey fox, racoons and others in Cape Hatteras NC by NPS. (the total is well over 1000 in the last 3 years) This is done to protect a few bird nests on the nearby beach. Instances of animals gnawing their own paws off to escape the leg traps are well documented. I guess it would be inconvenient to sue another "animal rights" group. PETA is based in Norfolk, VA. about 120 miles north of Cape Hatteras and is well aware of the situation but conspicuosly silent. In my humble opinion most animal rights groups are more social clubs or something, but they are certainly not protecting animals. Is this group different?

Killing deer is an epidemic. It's a plague of violence that has gripped more and more of our parks. The penchant for killing is most disturbing. It smacks of arrogance, egocentrism and speciesism. Killing deer only perpetuates more of the same. It's time to break the cycle of failure. The twisted, malicious campaign against deer is an utter fraud. Its vitriol has penetrated deeply. The public has been sold a bill of goods and deer have taken the rap. It is hoped that sooner rather later we'll see the dawning of a new day in our relations with deer. Critical thinking is the ticket.

Hi Debbie, I think you are misguided and ignorant--especially for someone who refers to herself as a scientist. Engaging in a deer massacre (I refuse to use your euphemistic language) does not solve any perceived problem, as deer only continue to procreate. It's only by leaving them be that deer manage their own herds. I didn't make that up either; science supports that statement. As for the suffering: believe it or not, not all animal advocates are opposed to nature, natural selection, and the processes that result---including, yes, some starvation; humans will never be able to prevent animal pain and suffering, as it is an inevitable aspect of nature and life in general. The point is to allow animals to enjoy autonomy; to stop pretending like we are god or know what's best for deer and other free-living animals that are exploited by the wildlife management system.

To all you "biologists" and "natural resource managers" and "wildlife managers": With respect to your education, you were all ripped off. For whatever you all paid for your education, you were robbed. Because the only solution you all can come up with is: to kill. Heck, there's a thousand laypersons that have come up with that solution. And so for all your education, all your contemplation, all your dialogue, all your thinking and analysis, you can only come to the solution that the average, UNINFORMED, calloused layperson can think of: to kill. Imagine, all those tens of thousands of dollars wasted on an education, because all you can think of is a solution that the average uniformed calloused layperson can think of. Where's the value-added for all that education? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. David Forjan p.s. - I may not comment often, but I read all these comments, and contemplate them all.

Deer and other free-living animals can control their own populations in balance with available food and with each other. They don't need us to manage their numbers. Instead of blaming deer for habitat destruction, we should be asking why their access to areas of the Park hasn't been limited. There hasn't, to my knowledge, been an adequate effort to plant a variety of trees and shrubs that repel deer, or to put up fencing. Speaking of science, biologists have found that hunting allows more food for animals who survive, which in turn increases their rate of reproduction. Thus, rather than reduce the size of animal populations, hunting becomes a vicious cycle of killing, a boom in the population, and killing again and again. Hunting is not a viable or "humane" option, and I'm thankful Lee Hall and Friends of Animals are working to end it. The deer and other animals of Valley Forge National Historical Park are individuals who have a personal interest in living. They are worthy of our respect and a plan that protects these interests.

I think Lee Hall is misguided and ignorant. I have a degree in Natural Resource Management and that is exactly what the purpose of the cull is - to manage the deer resource. Unfortunately, many of the deer's natural predators have been exterpated from this area and when overpopulation occurs, the herd SUFFERS from starvation because the land can only handle so many animals. You make it sound as if biologists, land managers and ranchers are randomly shooting and killing deer, however, a great deal of research and science goes into culling activities. I suggest you go on the internet and actually READ a few scientific papers about the subject. A bullet from a hunters' gun is much more humane than being slowly eaten while still alive by a wolf or a coyote (FACT). FoA comments: So hunters to be humane should kill every animal on Earth so it will not suffer from either starvation or being eaten by a predator? And while they are at it, should they kill every human so they will not suffer in life or by an inhumane death? And then the hunters turn their guns on themselves to save themselves from a fate more horrible than a bullet in their head? Here's a thought, let the hunters go first. That should take care of the problem.

To the writer who states that "A bullet from a hunters’ [sic] gun is much more humane...": First, you seem to be unaware that it is not "A bullet" that's the issue but, over the course of four or more winters, constant torment of the deer and people who value their lives; a war upon the animals, waged by humans charged with protecting them; the reality of more than 1500 living, breathing, conscious white-tailed deer slaughtered in a 5-mile park. You seem to hold a rather perverse view of what is humane. Second, are you not aware that hunting is disallowed in the national park? The Organic Act’s implementing regulations specifically prohibit the taking of wildlife in the national parks unless Congress has provided otherwise in a specific park’s enabling legislation. The Organic Act’s regulations define “take” as “to pursue, hunt, harass, harm, shoot, trap, net, capture, collect, kill, wound, or attempt to do any of the above.”

I think Lee Hall should wear two sticks tied to the top of her head and walk around in the woods at Valley Forge.

I had just read this on the Fox web site . I log on to there site every day to see what new disinformation/misinformation they are spewing. The one thing that always strikes me as strange in the animal over population argument is how the animals are encroaching on humans. Here in Florida where land and real estate developers rule the state, you are given the impression that if they are not allowed to pave over every square inch of land then it will not be preserved. Really? I used to work in King of Prussia. Seemed rather developed to me. Not to much of the beautiful Pennsylvania country side left around there. Ironically I worked there due to a pharmaceutical company illegally dumping it's waste. Yes you have a Superfund site in your backyard.Bet that doesn't make the news to often! Keep up the good work Lee!

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