Bow Hunting in Flordon

On Tuesday (9/25/12) the Road Fund Committee sent an email update that included the following text dealing with “Increased deer population”.

You may have noted that your deer population has increased.  Broomley Farm surrounded itself with a cage (aka deer fence), and, according to a neighbor, just prior to closing it, ran resident deer off the property.  We are the lucky inheritors.  Another neighbor found that her deer families emerged much healthier and robust, albeit fewer in number, after having the herd on her property thinned by master archers.  Given last year’s occurrence of at least one Lyme disease case from deer ticks, we would like to thin the deer population as well.  The archery club will send only those who can kill with a single shot, and will remove carcasses and donate the meat to those needing food.

We will engage archers to thin the deer population in Flordon, but will direct them to avoid going on any property whose owner wishes to opt out.  So, if you prefer to not have archer on your property, please let Tommy Adkins know, either by email or phone (919-886-8134).

We will certainly advise when the archers are scheduled.

One resident replied with the following:

With regard to the proposal to cull the deer, I have a strong reaction. I find the issue controversial and feel there needs to be further consideration of the reasons given and alternative options to killing.  The points I would like to raise are these:

1) It is inaccurate to suggest that killing deer reduces the risk of tick-borne Lyme disease for humans.  Birds and small mammals are the primary vectors. (Please see http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/jan/13/birds-spread-lyme-disease/ and http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/06/12/1204536109.abstract). 

2) “Culling” of deer is ineffective for population control. Killing off deer allows the remaining deer more food, resulting in a population rebound effect, setting off a cycle that is the opposite of the aim here. Food scarcity is naturally limiting.

3) Finally, it is not realistic to suggest that bow hunters kill their targets instantly with a single, clean shot. Bow-hunting is a violent and cruel way of killing animals. Deer may be wounded but still able to run, suffering a protracted death, or requiring multiple shots to finish them off. When I lived in backcountry Greenwich, I would see impaled deer too frequently in hunting season.  

I love living in Flordon because I enjoy the natural setting and the wildlife.  I don’t believe the proposed action is necessary, and before we make any decisions, I would like to see if there are others who share my deep reservations. 

Our hope is that others in the neighborhood will chime in so we can have an open discussion.  If you have an opinion please list it in the comments at the bottom of this post.

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6 Responses to Bow Hunting in Flordon

  1. Fritz Berry says:

    While this may be the county, our homes are way too close together for something like this. I feel any agreement to invite these hunters into our neighborhood to kill should require some sort of vote. My vote is NO. Cruelty of the slow death that occurs from this type of hunting aside, I am more concerned about the real risk of hunting accidents in such a tight neighborhood.

    Compound bows can kill at a range of 300 yards or farther (depending on the bow). Its very possible for an arrow to be fired two houses away, and have it end up landing somewhere on my property.

    Its also possible for these hunters to wound a deer that later ends up dying on my property, in front of my kids. That is NOT ok with me.

    I have very little faith in the decision making abilities of the types of people who we might employ to sit around and kill deer. I have asked that no killing occur within 300 yards of my property as I would like for my children and personal property to remain out of harms way. I am also asking to be made aware (ahead of time) as to when and where any such deer killing will be taking place.

    My nine year old daughter and her friends have just gotten to the age where they are starting to explore the woods and creeks around the neighborhood. I love that we live in such a great spot for this and hate the thought of fearing that they may come across an eager hunter looking for a kill, in what should be a peaceful and bucolic setting.

    Fritz

  2. Susan Martin says:

    A Farmington resident told me that the last time they did a deer kill in Farmington they took out 95 deer. This number may or may not be accurate but that’s what I was told. I don’t know if this was a target number based on an estimated deer population and when they killed 95 deer the hunt was over, or if the hunters simply had a certain number of hours in which to hunt and that was what they killed. Do we have an estimate for the deer population in Flordon? And what happens to those numbers if we do or do not do the kill? This kind of debate comes down to your personal views on hunting. And I’m not a hunter. But, I do think we need better information on why we’re being asked to even consider this option.

  3. Karen Rheuban says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue. I am VERY much opposed to bow hunting (or shooting or “culling”) of any form of wildlife in our neighborhood. I am skeptical of assertions that culling the deer population will result in a reduction of the tick population and/or the frequency of tick borne illnesses. We should all drive carefully in our Flordon (and any other) neighborhood to avoid injury to our neighbors, children, dogs, cats, rabbits, deer, and any other wildlife. Like Peggy, I am also opposed to I perceive is the inhumane treatment of animals. We moved to Flordon 30 years ago because of the lovely surroundings of flora and fauna. Surely we can all continue to co-exist.

    Karen

  4. Jay Bourgeois says:

    In the interest of getting the string of communications into one place, following are the “reply to all” emails regarding the deer proposal. They are listed in the order received:

    With regard to the proposal to cull the deer, I have a strong reaction. I find the issue controversial and feel there needs to be further consideration of the reasons given and alternative options to killing. The points I would like to raise are these:
    1) It is inaccurate to suggest that killing deer reduces the risk of tick-borne Lyme disease for humans. Birds and small mammals are the primary vectors. (Please see http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/jan/13/birds-spread-lyme-disease
    / and
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/06/12/1204536109.abstract).

    2) “Culling” of deer is ineffective for population control. Killing off deer allows the remaining deer more food, resulting in a population rebound effect, setting off a cycle that is the opposite of the aim here. Food scarcity is naturally limiting.

    3) Finally, it is not realistic to suggest that bow hunters kill their targets instantly with a single, clean shot. Bow-hunting is a violent and cruel way of killing animals. Deer may be wounded but still able to run, suffering a protracted death, or requiring multiple shots to finish them off. When I lived in backcountry Greenwich, I would see impaled deer too frequently in hunting season.

    I love living in Flordon because I enjoy the natural setting and the wildlife. I don’t believe the proposed action is necessary, and before we make any decisions, I would like to see if there are others who share my deep reservations.

    Sincerely,
    Peggy Gilges
    ———————————————————————–

    Thanks Peggy. I expressed similar concerns in a personal email to Jay. I am opposed to this proposal.
    Of course I am grateful for the work of our neighbors and friends to keep our roads and walkways improved.
    I for one feel we can safely co-exist with the deer.
    Best wishes,
    Karen
    Karen S. Rheuban MD
    ———————————————————————–

    I am not an expert on deer control but we sure are over populated and I will bow to the experts as to best method of control.
    Charles Gross
    ———————————————————————–

    Thanks Peggy!!!
    I agree!!! Our daughter was infected by a tick that was brought in by our Cat….. I might be in favor of culling the Cat population in my home 😉
    Fritz
    ———————————————————————-

    I am not a big fan of the “reply all” but noticed Jay requested others “Chime in”
    I agree with Peggy. I am NOT in favor of Bow hunting in our neighborhood.
    In our case, our child was infected by a tick that was brought into the house by our Cat. I would also not be in favor of Culling the cat population in the neighborhood…… unless they start tipping my trash cans…. 😉
    Is there a way to initiate an issue thru email, then ask people to respond or continue a conversation on the Web Page John shared? If you haven’t checked it out, you should: http://flordonneighborhood.com/
    Thanks to our committee leaders for all of their hard work on our behalf!!!
    Fritz
    ———————————————————————–

    I’m just a renter not an owner in the neighborhood, but FWIW consider mine a vote for culling. I’ll let those more well-versed than me decide on an appropriate method using whatever criteria people can agree to.
    Regarding Peggy’s second point, I’m afraid I strongly agree. By definition, eliminating deer is effective at controlling the population (by reducing their numbers). And less deer create less offspring, slowing population growth. Of course the opposite is also true (a bigger population will rapidly expand), so if some think we have a problem now, we’re going to have a much larger problem in a few seasons if we don’t act.
    Lots of deer in the neighborhood is a risk for vehicular traffic, and they provide a substantial food source that may attract natural predators (e.g., bears) that I’d rather not have around the young children in the neighborhood (mine included)…
    Kevin Sidders
    ———————————————————————–

    (Personal – not on “reply to all” – edited for privacy):
    Hi Jay,

    I
    I would also like to offer one piece of unsolicited feedback regarding having people from the archery club come to Flordon. Though it is certainly true that some possess great skill with a bow, there is never a guarantee that an animal will be put down with one shot. I believe bow hunting is “humane” (whatever that means) but hunting is inherently unpredictable. Also, removing the carcass is one thing, removing the “gut pile” is another. The gut pile disappears in a hurry but for those sensitive to hunting in general, seeing one would be a negative experience. Just something else to think about.
    ———————————————————————–

    We concur with Peggy’s points as an accurate assessment of the situation; and we want our property excluded if this unfortunate idea proceeds. Perhaps those who want this ‘service’ on their properties should take care of it individually?
    We appreciate as well all your efforts and keeping us informed of these issues- and the website- great idea.
    Thanks,
    Anne Casey and David Neuman
    ———————————————————————-

    The deer in the neighborhood have been increasing so much lately that it is really necessary to do something. I believe Tommy, Chauncey and Jay made a reasonable suggestion to cull the population but to avoid yards where individuals objected. Trying to do this on an individual basis is neither financially, nor logistically reasonable
    I am in favor of the original proposal and hope that we can move forward with it. I think this can be done in a way that will respect everyone, and hopefully solve the problem.
    Brenda Ryals
    ——————————————————————–

    As much of a nuisance as the Deer may be to some, I think we should be more concerned about the real danger of Hunting accidents that could occur from people shooting bullets or Arrows in our neighborhood.
    Compound Bows can kill from a range of 300 yards or farther (depending on the Bow)
    A Hunting Rifle can kill from a range of 800 yards or farther (depending on the gun)
    I will protest and restrict legally (if I have to) any sort of bow hunting within 300 yards of my property line and any rifle hunting within 1,000 yards of my property. (I really hope it doesn’t come to this)
    Any neighbors who feel the same, please communicate this to Jay, Chauncey, and Tommy so that they can ensure that your kids, pets and personal property are not put in harm’s way.
    Jay,
    How will this decision be made? IF there is some sort of Deer Killing program put in place, please let us know how the committee will restricting the killing activity to ensure the Hunters don’t come within the firing ranges (listed above) of properties of neighbors who have asked that their kids, pets and property be protected from harm.
    Thanks,
    Fritz
    ———————————————————————–

    Fritz: No one mentioned guns. Jay
    ———————————————————————–

    Jay, please kill the deer..i have about 10 in my yard, hit one or almost hit one every night.
    ———————————————————————-

    I agree, Fritz, and would like none of the deer killing via any method anywhere near my property. Having said this, I remain most appreciative of our committee and the work that they do for all of us.
    Sincerely,
    Leigh Grossman
    ———————————————————————–

    (Personal — edited):
    According to the VA Dept of Game & Inland Fisheries website (www.dgif.virginia.gov), it appears that the only regulation limiting deer hunting is that it cannot be done within 100 feet of a road (which is an Albemarle County firearms ordinance). People can deny hunters the right to hunt on their private property, but I could not find restrictions that would otherwise deny your/our ability to cull the deer. (In other words, I think the email responses about “no hunting within 300 yards of my property line” are probably indefensible.)

  5. Leonard Winslow says:

    Having been an avid hunter all of my life I am against bow hunting or any other type of hunting in our neighborhood.

  6. Lora Baum says:

    I oppose any killing of animals, and do not think the archery solution is right for our neighborhood. Although at this point the technology is not feasible due to cost, the states of Maryland and New Jersey have approved an injectable long acting contraceptive for deer. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post_now/post/md-approves-use-of-deer-birth-control/2011/05/15/AFF4ND4G_blog.html
    Other more convenient technologies are in development. Until then, I propose we drive slowly and enjoy the view!
    No hunting at 919 Flordon.

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