Letter: Shooting deer in city limits a bad idea

Aug. 31, 2016 - Native porcine zona pellucida (PZP) has been a success story in urban areas with white-tailed deer, and it could be applied here for mule deer population control.

To the editor:

I wish to comment on an article titled “Survey will help determine fate of town deer” (Aug. 22).

No it won’t. Firstly, this “quick” public survey was totally unscientific, without any effort at randomization, comprehensiveness or allowing space for individual comment. While the survey period has ended and results are being tabulated, whatever conclusions come from this attempt at research will be bogus.

The questionnaire/survey design carried out five years ago was not statistically flawless, but at least it gave people far more information and contained substantive questions. Thus, the data had some validity.

Nowhere in this article do I see that the option to use fertility control has been thoroughly researched. Native porcine zona pellucida (PZP) has been a success story in urban areas with white-tailed deer, and it could be applied here for mule deer population control.

This immunocontraceptive is available from The Science and Conservation Center (SCC) in Billings (http://www.sccpzp.org/contact-us/) and runs about $24 per dose, plus administering costs and equipment. The SCC should be contacted to determine what the total cost per doe would actually be.

The McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area reduced its wild horse numbers in just three years using native PZP (ZonaStat-H) with trained volunteer darters. No gathers have occurred since its application.

Shooting deer in city limits is a bad idea, even if Cody Police Department sharpshooters are engaged, and the capture/transport method would traumatize what is a delicate wildlife species, albeit urbanized. When placed in unfamiliar habitat, deer would not adopt well and could be in danger of entering areas with well-established wild deer herds, causing territorial fights.

Progressiveness just might give us some positive publicity and add to the movement for humane control of wildlife in urban zones. I am not against hunting, but lethal control would be inappropriate, in this instance and in this place.

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