There are probably more deer now than ever. This is because of two things: 1) we've greatly reduced the numbers of their natural predators and 2) our urban yards and gardens give them an ample food supply.
I recently moved back to the Cleveland, Ohio area for family reasons and was astounded at how frequently I would encounter small deer families wandering around residential neighborhoods. The deer are breeding virtually out of control.
No predators on the one hand and, unlike rural deer, who get culled out somewhat by fast-moving cars, deer are hardly ever killed by urban autos due to their speed allowing the deer to evade accidents and/or drivers to come to a stop before colliding with them.
Venison is delicious. Why not allow caoturing urban deer and allowing them to become a food source for American families? Perhaps we could even make venison free to the poor, killing the proverbial "two birds with one stone."
Not so long ago, I was in a nice restaurant and instead of ordering a steak, I ordered the venison and it was one of the best meals I had in a long time.
There was a similar problem in my hometown in Ontario a few years back. Habitat modification, atypically warm winters, and poor urban planning affecting wildlife corridors are a few other factors which contributed to population explosion and deer moving deeper into suburban and urban areas. If memory serves, some changes were made to hunting licensing and quotas to help cull the deer population. I don't know how effective it's been.
I don't have a huge problem with this. It's not good conservation, but once overpopulation has become a problem, hunting down their numbers is probably better than leaving the population unchecked. I would hope people try to get as much use out of the animals as possible after they've been killed.
I gather Torontons (Torontonians?) might want to also develop a taste for raccoons. The film Raccoon Nation depicts Toronto as a city overrun with the critters.
That's a bit of a coincidence, I'm actually making it for dinner tomorrow:
I find it odd that you don't already kill deer for food, it's quite common practice in these parts. I usually have it a few times per year, especially in autumn with freshly picked chanterelle and almond potatoes.
There was actually a major deer problem here in the 50ies. After Bambi came out people stopped eating deer while at the same time almost all the predator population was wiped out and car traffic increased substantially. There were lots of accidents and several people died.
The company I work for have the same issue with seals hunted off the coasts of Canada and Greenland. Very few wants to eat the meat and wear the skins because seals are cute. Never mind that the predators are all but gone and there is an overpopulation,
Arcus, I think the main problem in need of a solution is how to collect the dear in the setting of residential neighborhoods, where people are probably going to be understandably leery about hunting with rifles and/or bows/arrows on their streets or in their yards.
Unfortunately, most people regard deer as naturally beautiful and fawns as cute. Also, the fawns cannot live without the mother does. I suspect, however, that fawn meat has its own appeal much as veal has certain appeals vs. beef. Trapping is probably going to have to be the ultimate solution, but what does one trap a deer with since there is already a lot to eat outside the traps.
Don't forget deer jerky. Best snack ever!
I think deer is delicious. And if you want to eat meat at all, I think it makes a lot more sense to eat something that is already living and taking care of itself and needs predators, instead of relying solely on domesticated animals which are raised in a "factory farm" type setting. The way we treat our food animals makes me sick any time I think about it.
That's a good point Physeter. I have seen some videos about livestock factories, and it is a brutal business. I pretty much have given up on meat and dairy for the past 20 years mostly for health reasons.....except for the fish I catch in the surf and special events such as parties or holidays. I have had venison jerky and as Beth says...it's really good !
Had deer meat in my stir fry w/ rice last night. Excellent source of lean protein.
Controlling urban deer populations is problematic & expensive. Introducing their natural predators might put the neighborhood a little on edge. As a hunter I wouldn't be interested in being paid to eliminate deer in an urban environment as it is just slaughter and not really hunting. Capturing deer is not easy and can be costly for equipment. To me the most bang for the buck (no pun intended) would be to hire one or two trained professionals who use dart guns to apprehend the critters. They could then be harvested, dressed out, and distributed to local food kitchens.