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.