Letter to the Editor
The Brunswick News
November 30, 2011
DNR sanctioned deer hunt not the right solution
The recent report about Jekyll Island’s deer population submitted to the Jekyll Island Authority by the Georgia DNR is problematic, to say the least.
Based on a mere four-day, spotlight count of Jekyll’s deer and a brief survey of deer feeding patterns, the report concludes that the deer are in deep trouble and that roughly two-thirds of the herd – nearly 500 deer – need to be killed in order to set things right.
Missing from the DNR report are data to support the claims that Jekyll deer are eating foods they’ve not previously eaten, will soon exhaust the food supply, and are already dying of starvation.
Absent too is any mention of why other places have been able to manage their deer populations successfully without resorting to the lethal tactics favored by the DNR.
Particularly lacking is the DNR’s bow and arrow hunt answer for reducing the deer population. Apparently, the DNR is unaware that, on average, roughly one-fifth of the deer that are arrowed don’t die, according to even the most conservative of estimates. The probability of speared deer staggering around Jekyll may not bother the DNR, but what about the impact on the island’s tourists and the JIA’s public image?
Places where responsible deer management is practiced have programs based on long-term and detailed studies and are open to innovative and humane ways to control deer population. Shouldn’t this be true for Jekyll Island as well?