Might Hunting Actually Contribute to Deer Overpopulation?

An animal rights group pushes back at the idea that hunting is the only way to regulate the nation's deer herds.

The long-held chestnut most deer hunters give animal rights activists is that without hunting, America's deer population would explode to unsustainable heights. "The only relatively efficient means to manage deer herd numbers other than habitat modification is through managing hunter harvest (i.e., contemporary predation)," says the Noble Foundation, a nonprofit advocating for agricultural productivity.

Estimates peg the United States' white-tailed deer population at 20 million, a huge and probably unsustainable leap from an all-time low of 500,000. A new article on Scientific American, however, challenges the notion that the best way of dealing with overpopulation is by culling the herds with gunfire (emphasis ours):

In Defense of Animals (IDA) reports that even permitted sport hunting, under current wildlife management guidelines and outdated land management policies, contributes to deer overpopulation problems. “Currently, there are approximately eight does for every buck in the wild,” the group explains. “Laws restrict the number of does that hunters may kill.” Since bucks will often mate with more than one doe, the ratio of does to bucks “sets the stage for a population explosion.” And open season on both sexes won’t solve the problem, as too many does would die, stranding needy fawns and depleting the reproductive pool—as happened in the early 20th century when deer numbers fell precipitously low. IDA and many other animal protection organizations believe that sport hunting should be banned and that deer populations should be allowed to regulate naturally.


The IDA, an admittedly partial source, fails in explaining how deer populations could "regulate naturally," but if there is a chance that hunting isn't the answer, perhaps the government should consider the wisdom of letting anyone traipse around the woods to kill animals. Besides, it's not just deer dying out there, 1,000 humans are also shot annually in hunting accidents in America and Canada.

photo via Flickr user HuntFishGuide


This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

via WFMZ / YouTube

John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

Footage from September 2018 shows an officer pushing Perez to the ground. After Perez got to his feet, multiple officers kicked and punched him in an attempt to get him back on the ground.

Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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