As I was heading down my driveway to go to work yesterday a big buck ran across right in front of my vehicle. If I had been going 2 miles an hour faster I would be buying new headlights and my friend Festus would be feasting on venison. I don't know how many deer cross my driveway every morning but this one managed to find the single moment when it stood a chance of ending up in the stew pot.
I read somewhere that there are more deer in New England today than before the Europeans came. It's certainly plausible. With such abundance, the Indians would have been fat and sassy. Not only are there a lot of them, they seem to have a proclivity for hurling themselves in front of motor vehicles.
For the Indians, they meant food, clothing and shelter, but for European settlers in the 21st Century, they are mostly just a nuisance. In addition to trashing cars, they eat fruit trees, corn and other crops (including mine) and ornamental shrubs, can prevent reforestation, and along with mice and voles, are hosts to the deer tick, the vector of Lime disease.
Unfortunately, in Connecticut, deer hunting culture is dying out. The few beer-fueled louts stumbling around the woods in Windham County with rusty rifles don't do much to limit the population. If the cougars were to return, as soon as somebody's Dandy Dinmont got eaten the people would take to the streets demanding that the state exterminate them. The flatlanders who move out to the country just think the deer are adorable and some fools even feed them. Some towns have hired hunters to cull the herd but there are always fools who think they're being all progressive and environmentalist by opposing hunting. If you really think nature is so beautiful, you should advocate stocking the woods with Puma concolor.
The fact is there are too many deer. It seems to me somebody could develop a contraceptive bait, but I've never heard of such a strategy. Anybody got a better idea?