27 March 2005

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "When Cute Deer Go Bad" (editorial, March 20):

White-tailed deer, one of America's most adaptable and elegant mammals, should never be viewed as vermin, but your editorial and the New Jersey Audubon Society are exactly right about the need to better manage the species.

One hike through our denuded forests will show that this is not just a suburban problem. Many of this animal's predators are missing from the ecosystem, but a few remain, including one of the best: humans, who have been hunting deer in North America for thousands of years.

It may be hard for the typical urbanite to grasp that we are as "natural" a predator as wolves or mountain lions. Sport hunting is safe, effective and ecologically sound. Relying on hunters who use traditional skills and woodsmanship to bring home venison for their families is infinitely more palatable than having sharpshooters mow down entire herds under cover of darkness.

Anthony Licata
Brooklyn, March 20, 2005
The writer is senior editor, Field & Stream magazine.

To the Editor:

One could justifiably substitute Homo sapiens for white-tailed deer in "When Cute Deer Go Bad" (editorial, March 20).

It is the human animal that inflicts the most rapacious assault on the environment by polluting air and waterways and despoiling the forests because of its need for more lumber for more developments. The human predator has blasted more species into extinction than the Bambi Barbarians ever could.

Each year humans kill more than 41,000 of their own species in car accidents, many times more than the number of people killed by accidents with deer.

Those of us whose morals transcend "slaughter everything that's in my way or that inconveniences me" know that it is not wildlife that regularly invades and destroys suburban habitat; it is almost invariably the other way around.

Gloria S. Feldscher
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
March 21, 2005

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