Deer management

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After reading John Hayes’ story about suburban deer problems (“Suburbs a ‘Sanctuary’ for Deer,” Nov. 14 Suburban editions), I have to give my view of what I see in the South Hills. Some of the woods in South Park are so devoid of ground vegetation that everybody blames the deer. This is not all true.

One only has to walk down East Park Drive from the BMX Track to the Oliver Miller Homestead and see huge trees that almost totally block out any sunlight from reaching the ground. The same thing goes for Sleepy Hollow Road down to the Brownsville Road extension. There is nothing for the deer to eat, so they move into the neighborhoods to feast on homeowners’ flora.

Why can’t these parks get logged out of these big trees so new vegetation can regenerate the woods? The county will make money in the process.

As for the “hired hunters” from Whitetail Management Associates and the Agriculture Department to come in and shoot deer, this is just a frivolous attempt to control a big problem. We have thousands of highly qualified archers in Allegheny and surrounding counties who can take on the job of local deer control in our own backyards but aren’t allowed to, due to too many rules and regulations.

It used to be that the Allegheny County Police would give archery proficiency tests every year to hunt deer in our county parks. What happened to that program? The wildlife and parks belong to all of us, not just a few select groups, so let us archery hunters hunt.

JIM HIRSH
Bethel Park


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