The following was submitted to the GeneseeSun.com for publication by Livingston County resident Ashley Pankratz. The opinions and attitudes expressed herein should not be misinterpreted as those of the GeneseeSun.com. It is the policy of the GeneseeSun.com to publish all letters to the editor provided that they are not profane.
As a former resident of the Village of Avon, I am troubled by the proposal to allow bow hunting within village limits. To what extend are deer a ‘problem,’ and to whom? Who benefits from such a proposal?
To date, there has been no accurate assessment of deer population in the village, nor is there any record of complaints. The biggest “unofficial” complaint is deer grazing on ornamental landscaping–an issue humanely addressed through education. Despite claims of an exploding population, deer related car accidents haven’t increased. The overall percentage remains low and predictable, and the majority occur during hunting season.
Lyme disease is another justification used by officials, but deer do not carry or transmit the disease. It is primarily spread by rodents, and experts agree that there is no correlation between killing deer and the occurrence of Lyme disease in humans.
On an ethical level, the sanctioned killing of animals sends a perplexing message. If one were to shoot a dog or cat with an arrow, one would face cruelty charges. Arrowed deer die from blood loss or infection, and more than 50 % are never recovered. What happens to the razor-tipped arrow that impales the unrecovered deer? What happens to the child or pet dog who finds that arrow? And what happens when a wounded, panicked deer runs into traffic, or onto a family’s lawn during breakfast?
Credibility is further diminished by the plan to kill deer of both sexes, since a single buck can impregnate multiple does. Therein lies the unfortunate truth: some hunters seek access to protected, trophy-quality bucks, while village officials aim to keep that constituent happy–effectively turning a quiet community into a private hunting preserve at the cost of animal suffering and public safety.