Monday, February 18, 2008

MARYLAND NEWS: 62 Deer Culled at Goucher College

Hunters are finished the business of thinning the deer population at Goucher College in Towson. Concerns over a growing herd forced administrators to call for control measures. As Tim Williams reports, hunters are finished until more studies are done.

As they walk their daily route through the Goucher college campus, the company of deer has become common for the Oettinger family.

April teaches at the school.

"Sometimes we'd see the herd of male deer with the large antlers would be right over here and we would see them hopping back and forth and it would drive our dogs to abstraction," she said.

But now there are 62 less deer in the herd than there were at the end of last year.

"While the college was closed for the winter break, over five days, state licensed deer cooperators came to campus and did a managed bow hunt," said Goucher College spokesperson Kristen Keener.

At about 200 white-tailed deer, the population for the campus was considered out of control. The State Department of Natural Resources estimates there should only be 40.

Hunters first tried to single out animals that were sick or injured because relocation and shooting them with birth control were too expensive and time consuming.

"Of the 62 animals that were removed, seven of them previously had been injured, perhaps as the result of a car collision or poachers who found their way onto campus," Keener said.

The hunt was not unopposed. Some students and alumni were against it from the beginning; others favored the idea.

Students received emails just before the holiday alerting them.

A Goucher spokesperson says with campus expansion, thinning will protect the landscape.

"For me, [I stopped] walking through the woods because of lyme disease and the deer ticks, particularly with the dogs. Now that we have our little boy, we just don't take the trails," Oettinger said.

"The college's administrators are here to protect the well-being of the students, faculty and staff, so any measure that perhaps endangers their well-being is of great concern," Keener said.

No other controlled hunts are scheduled at this time.


1 comment:

peter said...

Sian Berry, the Green candidate for London Mayor, backed the cull but was concerned that carrying it out at night may not be the most humane way to thin out the herd. She said: "It may be done to spare the public the spectacle but it may not be the best way to ensure you target the correct animals and that it is the least cruel and clean way."

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