Urges careful control choice

To the Editor: Actually, I applaud the City Council for exploring other methods of controlling the over-population of deer within the city limits.
Nov 17, 2013

We need to find the safest, most cost-effective means that delivers the needed results.

However, I do have some concerns with the deer contraceptive proposal. There is plenty of information on the Internet — some pro, some con. Google it.

Also, a couple of things in the recent Tribune article: The Harbor Springs process involved “nearly 20 deer” and in an “enclosed deer park.” While entitled to his opinion, Mr. Davis labeled people who don’t see it his way as having “closed minds and foul hearts.” That sort of tips off which side of the issue he's on.

Regarding the cost of culling vs. contraception — as best as I can tell, the actual cost of the contraceptive is about $50 per dose, but that does not take into account the capturing, tagging etc. I see estimates in the range of $1,000 per doe. Whatever the number, each doe has to be re-treated every few years. That multiplies the cost 3-4 times over her lifetime.

The USDA released information back in 2008. While it does state infertility lasted “up to five years,” it also reported on two studies. The Maryland study showed the contraceptive to be “88 percent effective in the first year and 47 percent effective in the second year.” A similar study in New Jersey “showed 67 percent effectiveness in the first year and 48 percent effectiveness in the second year.” Also, in that Maryland study, the herd “was reduced in density by Wildlife Service sharpshooters” before they used the contraceptive.

Choose wisely, council.

Jim Mathews
Grand Haven




Perhaps you should have attended the meeting.


Deer overpopulation is a subjective term. Your pricing is way off and I believe not even for the correct contraception. It is $30 a deer for the dose that needs to repeated annually, $200 for a dose that lasts 3-5 years. The price includes ear tagging, sedation, etc. This is not the USDA GonaCON contraception. It is a cutting edge, win win for our area. Been used in zoos and on wild horses out west for years and years. The area looked at is a pilot with 12-15 doe similar to Harbor Springs. The meeting was great, complete with all the FACTS - all peer reviewed by scientists rather that just opinions.


You are right on one thing, it is not the GonaCon. They will be using Porcine Zona Pellucide (PZP). However your facts that you got from the meeting at the community center is from the people looking to take our tax money. So of course they are going to tell you how cheap it is. I think Mr Matthews is more realistic on the cost. Don't forget the PZP is giving to the deer by SHOOTING a GUN in city limits! If they are going to tranquillize the deer first they don't just lay down and go to sleep. They run a ways before they go down. God forbid that be in some ones back yard or in a park or some were a family might be. Not to mention the stress it puts on a deer. Not to mention the longer estrus cycle they will being inducing by giving this PZP. Do some research other than what was spoon fed to you by the people drumming up business.


Drake0304, unfortunately your statements are lacking in research.


OK. I have to ask. Were did you get your plethora of scientific knowledge Lakota05? or should I call you Mr. or Mrs. wildlife biologist! I hope it is from some where other than the one meeting at the community center!


Hi Drake0304, MSU of course! Retired. By the way, when hunting years ago in Minnesota, a deer with an arrow in it, left a blood trail through town before dying in front of a family in a parking lot. Traumatic to say the least. The darting is not at all like that. If they do get out of the area they just appear to be sleeping and found right away with telemetry. I get your point though.

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