Letter: Deer hunting necessary

By The Daily Illini

It was sad to see a paper I used to work for miss the mark on its reporting in Thursday’s editorial about the ‘bloody solution’ to the deer problem at Allerton Park.

I worked at Allerton as a trails intern, so I saw firsthand the kind of damage the deer cause. I also wrote a 24-page series on deer population control.

The solutions listed – relocation and sterilization – are the least cost-effective solutions and aren’t particularly humane. This isn’t just my opinion. It’s the opinion of Illinois Department of Natural Resources, campus animal-rights groups and park officials around the state. Relocation involves trapping and/or drugging the deer and transporting them, inducing stress which in most cases is enough to kill them.

Sterilization, while less stressful, is still cost-prohibitive and is only effective in an area with clear boundaries. Because sterilization is done only on females, all the does need to be found – not a viable solution in a large, unfenced area like Allerton Park. However, if your editors can find a way to fund such an experiment, I’m sure Allerton would be more than happy to try it out.

Allerton took the time to study the issue with a group of experts and park users. The editors, on the other hand, didn’t study the issue well at all.

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While pictures of hunting sure aren’t pretty, and no one likes to think of Bambi’s mother being shot, the alternative is watching Bambi starve to death and taking the ecosystem of the park with it.

If you don’t believe me, find out for yourself. Go visit Allerton, volunteer for a workday or their Spring Break program and ask the employees and other volunteers about it.

Beth Anderson

Champaign resident