Letter: We need a deer hunting pause

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Editor of the Reformer:

Imagine all the deer in Vermont gone. What do you think would do that: bad winters, predators, or hunters? The answer is all of them, however hunters do most of the killing. According to the Vermont Fish and Game Department, in 2010 just a little over 15,000 deer were harvested. In 2011, around 13,000 deer were harvested. If you look at the numbers that's a significant difference which could mean that the hunting was bad that year or the deer percentage went down. Deer hunters need to stop hunting for one to two years so the deer percentage could hopefully go up.

As a deer hunter in Vermont, I love hunting, but when you don't see any deer for the past two years it makes you feel discouraged and wonder what happened to the deer.

Hunters kill most deer with a bow or a gun. According to the Vermont Fish and Game law book, bow hunters are able to shoot one doe; if the doe is already pregnant then instead of losing one deer you're actually losing two. This is also with muzzleloading. In muzzleloading the deer are done with mating and the females are carrying one or two fawns. You're only allowed to shoot doe in muzzleloading season f you have a doe permit. Last year The Fish and Game Department gave out 9,650 permits to hunters.

According to the New York Times in 1988, New York had a deer population of over 800,000. Because of this, they decided to bring the number of deer you can shoot up, and made a shotgun season for deer. New York is just to the west of Vermont and it states that the doe brought the population up in New York. That could be true, but it could also be deer in Vermont crossing into New York and if that is true, there is another reason why the population of deer in Vermont dropped. Then again that was in 1988 so I don't think that's what caused the population drop.

People should stop hunting deer in Vermont for at least one to two years so the population could go up. Hunters don't realize that the deer population is going down, all they care about is getting that big buck or doe. The Burlington Press states that Vermont is the third worst hunting state. That is because we have a small deer population or the buck racks are too short, but it's mostly about the population. The next time you go hunting think about the population and how you could be shooting the last deer in the state.

Nicholas Aiken, Brattleboro, March 29



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