Deer hunting season comes to the Mid Hudson Valley and most would agree that we have an over abundance of them around here.

Controlling the deer population is an issue in these parts. SUNY New Paltz held a panel discussion last week about the ethical questions with deer hunting and other population control methods. Collisions with deer cost over $260 million a year in New York State. Damages to crops about another $60 million.

Hudson Valley One reports that former SUNY New Paltz graduate student Brent Miller talked about an brief he wrote on the subject. His conclusion is that hunting is the most practical way to keep the deer population in check. The costs of other methods are just too expensive.

Citing a wide variety of studies, his brief rejected the options of contraception or sterilization of wild deer as far too costly (estimated at $500 to $1,000 to administer birth control to each doe, $5,000 for a vasectomy on a buck)

Miller is now the Northeastern States director for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. He is also recommending that we look into giving incentives to  homeowners so they would allow hunters onto their property, if the area is being severely impacted by too many deer. I don't know if that proposal will ever get very far, but many homeowners complain about the deer eating their expensive landscaping.

Opposing points of view dealt with the pain inflicted on innocent animals. It was also stated that part of the deer problem for humans is because we cut down forests to build. We are taking away their home to build ours. It's a complicated issue that probably has no clear cut answer.

What do you think about deer hunting? Do you think this is the best way to manage the population in our area? Please leave your comments on our Facebook page.