We are aware of the rapid increase of the deer population in our town. Sadly, it is to their detriment. Many appear to be underfed, unhealthy looking, and it is sad to see them and their young scavenging for nourishment.

I am totally against using lethal methods for deer control and have read some encouraging news put out by the Humane Society of the United States. There is a vaccine available which has been approved by the HSUS and the EPA. It is Zonastat-D, an immunocontraceptive. 

Specifically designed for deer, it blocks the fertilization of the doe’s egg and reduces fawning by 85 to 90 percent. It can be applied through a dart and can last up to three years.

For further information, search “A Humane Nation, Kitty Block’s Blog, The Humane Society of the United States, EPA gives thumbs up on vaccine to manage deer.”

I have emailed this information to our city council. I am certain that most of our residents, myself included, would gladly contribute to such a cause if our city leaders are willing to get involved and make it happen.

(11) comments

Richard Hammond

What needs to happen, is we need to shoot them with contraceptives. Fish and game could take a couple of days in town to just deal with this. Here is a link to an article you should all check out.

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/06/nyregion/providing-birth-control-to-deer-in-an-overrun-village.html

S McC

When I said about allowing hunting w/in PT I went extremely experienced hunters in a lottery style only certain days & hours.
Stop traffic, the people stay in their homes or wear orange.
Or otherwise simple just quit complaining.

Tom Camfield

Who will determine "extremely experienced" hunters? Also, massacre of docile deer lying or wandering about is a far cry from "hunting."

S McC

The State would be in charge of those who would pull the trigger.
I've never made a kill so I wouldn't be able to hunt, but I've been out w/an extremely experienced hunter so they would be one the State would say OK we know you know how so go get the job done.

S McC

Why not just let us hunters hunt. Open up Port Townsend to hunters instead of allowing your precious "Pets" to starve because of your 6' fence around your garden!

Tom Camfield

The last thing we need is guns going off in the city limits. I can imagine now some drunk with a handgun in a passing car claiming he's legally hunting deer. Meanwhile, these animals are less pets than refugees to whom many of us are giving asylum. It was our kind, after all, that drove them from their native woodlands.

On our Uptown lots, we've compromised--fenced in berries, tomatoes, beans roses and a few other flowers. The rest of the property—the lower portion of fruit trees, a fuchsia tree, many flowers and some bushes, a laurel portion of an encircling hedge—remain free for foraging. They also nibble on grass and dandelions in lean times, and the laurel is a diet staple.

We don't feed them or try to domesticate them beyond the point they have chosen for themselves. I do take pleasure in the fact that they do not have to live in fear.

There's a calm ambience around here in this sanctuary where some of the deer have spent their lifetimes and many have staked out personal dozing spots. There are half a dozen lying about chewing their cuds as I write this. I see no reason to kill them. However, it would be useful, in some ways, to institute some sort of painless birth control . . . for like cutting down road rage among impatient and distracted drivers.

Justin Hale

I'd like to see an open season on deer, but only hand to hoof combat allowed. You know damn well there are enough loose screws out there to make this pretty interesting. Imagine MMA sorts in camo taking down a three-point buck on Lawrence street, just saying. A lot more interesting than watching people pick out their steak at the local grocery store.

Tom Camfield

Extended season away from residential areas might be OK on a trial basis, as long as it involved true hunters with the likes of an old 30-30 or 30.06 rifle, those who would dress, store and actually eat the venison. But no shooting does while they are still raising their children.

Back in leaner times around here, the '30s, '40s . . . hunting was more of a regular thing. We had more close-to-nature sorts and fewer refugees from big-city life. We also had more salmon fishermen, more clam-diggers, etc. Many more people, much less beach access these days though.

Personally, I couldn't bring myself to shoot an animal that's grown used to friendly humans, that's just standing there 15 feet or so away, looking back at me.

S McC

*ment
Dang spellchecker

Sonny Flores

The Vaccine sounds like a great solution. I do agree that the deer population is very much out of control, and recently if the county can pay $8,000 to rent the McCurdy Pavilion for an evening for a public hearing regarding Gun Ranges at at Fort Worden, funding should not be a problem.

Tom Camfield

Sounds like a pretty decent way to go.

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