An Issue Of Community Concern This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   A recent newspaper brought a subject of great controversy to my attention. It explained that a two square mile island in Moultonborough, New Hampshire had become overrun by deer. Specifically, some 136 deer were meagerly existing, water locked from other areas and unable to search for food.

Proposed suggestions to control this overpopulation included allowing some local SPCA sponsor (the minority opinion) to capture and take home some deer as pets. However, the majority ruled in the end. Last week, in a successful effort to thin the herd, a sharpshooter from Connecticut was hired to kill 90 deer. The carcasses were cleaned and the meat quick frozen and donated to local soup kitchens.

Much emotion still surrounds this issue and more precisely, the issue of animal rights. I feel I am uniquely qualified to comment because I am a caring lover of all animals, a position supported by my career objective to become a veterinarian. Second, I am not a hunter. In general, I oppose most forms of killing animals, although I do not consider myself "anti" in regards to the rights of mankind to hunt. Third, I am a supporter of taking action to resolve issues, as opposed to believing that if left alone, problems like this will simply go away. The best answer to solving most problems typically lies just beyond the emotion of the community.

Several days after the thinning of the herd, a statement by the "hired gunman" (as he was called by those opposed to the culling) was relegated to a small article in the local newspaper. He commented that the average two-year-old deer was 30-40% underweight and many had lost their mature molars, making it impossible to chew anything denser than popcorn that the friendly neighborhood children were feeding them. He added that he performed this service without any fee since he saw this condition as becoming a hazard for the deer. The deer population had caused an increase in traffic accidents and severe destruction to gardens and shrubbery. Also, many deer had delivered still-born offspring and the decaying carcasses were supporting an increase in the rodent population.

I personally support the local authority that chose this quick and effective method to thin the deer population. Alternatives were short-sighted at best and the result of emotional responses without consideration of the facts. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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