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Deer vs. Hunters

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There's a battle brewing in my hometown (Ridgefield, CT) that has been nothing short of divisive. The division lines are drawn upon whether the town is experiencing an overpopulation of deer and what to do about it.

Judging by the letters in the town paper, both sides have become pretty militant in trading barbs and fanatically defending their positions. The hunters (majority of which are NRA type guys), are obviously supporting an open season on the deer. To support their argument, they point to the number of accidents caused by deer and the threat of Lyme disease, as deer are the predominant transporters of ticks that actually transmit the disease. I suppose their support base is mainly gun owners, hunters, Lyme-scared people, and a few with ruined flower beds.

Anti-hunters are generally made up of animal lovers, anti-gun people, and non-violent individuals who do not wish to see a hunter in pursuit of a mortally wounded animal, traipsing through their yards.

My dilemma is that I agree with both sides, at least with some of their positions. I own a handgun and enjoy an occasional target practice, but would gladly give it up if laws were passed banning gun ownership. I share the compassion of animal lovers, but I also know most hunters are staunchly pro open-space and anti-development, something I agree with.

No, I don't buy the claims of tick reduction by decimating deer population, nor do I want to see a savage scene acted out in my backyard. As for accidents, I must believe most cars collide with each other, rather than with deer. I also don't care for most hunters' arrogant and cavalier attitudes either. So, if it were up to me, I would vote to keep the hunters out in the upcoming referendum. But since I find myself in agreement with some of the positions held by either side, I decided to sit this one out and see how it flows. Sometimes it's best to trust the judgment of others.

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