Deer are beautiful animals in the right setting. Unfortunately, the herds have grown in numbers, are starving because of human intrusion and reduced browsing area, and are often diseased. The deer have resorted to eating and destroying naturally occurring and cultivated plants, resulting in enormous financial losses to homeowners and degradation to the natural beauty of the park system.
If this were the only impact on us, it might be acceptable. Unfortunately, it is not. Deer can host ticks and carry Lyme disease. Deer browse through residential neighborhoods and on plants in people’s yards where adults and children come in contact with shrubs and grasses that frequently harbor the deer ticks. If diseased ticks were to be present and a child brushed up against that plant, the tick would attach itself to the child, engorge itself on the child’s blood and then drop off. Lyme disease frequently goes undiagnosed and, if untreated, can lead to a lifelong serious medical problem.
Additionally, herds have been found to have tuberculosis, which is transmissible to humans and are also dying in substantial numbers from a hemorrhagic disease. It has been stated that there is currently no evidence that this disease is transmissible to humans. That is a medical disclaimer and doesn’t preclude the possibility that future evidence may find that it is transmissible to humans.
Deer belong in forests, not in residential neighborhoods. The deer herds that are in close contact with neighborhoods should not just be reduced, they should be totally eliminated. The DNR should take whatever steps they deem necessary to eliminate the deer population in proximity to developed areas.
Dr. Lloyd Rotz