Deer Vasectomy Program is a Disaster

Stanton Island, New York is over run with whitetail deer. To combat the problem they started giving male deer vasectomies.  Even with the program in full swing it is having zero affect on deer populations.  This comes as little surprise to any one that knows even a little bit about whitetail biology.

During the rut bucks will breed multiple does and any doe that does not get bred will come back into heat until she is bred. So even though they are catching multiple bucks, there are sure to be some that slip through the cracks and they will breed with as many does as possible. In all likelihood a majority of the does will still get bred by the few remaining lucky bucks.

Every state game agency know if you want to increase deer populations in a certain area and still want to have deer hunting you make the area buck only for a few years. The male of a lot species is expendable meaning that it only takes a few males to keep the population sustainable. This is basic Biology 101.

“It’s difficult for me to come up with all the reasons why this is a really stupid plan,” Bernd Blossey, an ecologist at Cornell University who consulted City Hall on deer management strategies, said at the time. “It’s ridiculous from the onset.”

“This plan has very low likelihood of success,” added Paul Curtis, another ecologist at Cornell who was part of the city’s inter-agency deer task force.

The reason Stanton Island decided on the vasectomy program was because the community could not stomach the much needed cull.

According to the Stanton Island Advance, borough President James Oddo is doing his best to convince the city that a cull is an essential step.

“We even got the federal, state, and city officials together to discuss a solution that could have included a cull of the population, and the federal government undertook an environmental assessment throughout 2015. In fact, the USDA and State DEC were ready and willing to undertake a cull, similar to what has been done in other jurisdictions similar to Staten Island. This was stopped because the NYPD blanched, the City of New York refused, and activists were waiting on standby to bring lawsuits that some believe would have delayed any action for many years.”

What Stanton Island is doing is not working. When you ignore biology for a “More Humane” option, the problem is only going to get worse. Hunting as a management tool has proved it self over and over again as the most effective way to manage deer populations.

I realize that regulated hunting may not be a viable option in a large part of the borough, but a cull is. Well trained sharp shooters will be able to knock down the population to a more manageable level. It will need to be repeated every few year to keep residents safe. Plus local food banks will benefit from the added protein.

To read the complete Article from the Stanton Island Advance Click HERE