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Starting an article by telling readers that if they’re “lucky,” they can kill two animals this year instead of one is suited to a hunting magazine, not this newspaper. Many of your readers are appalled that deer are gunned down in Maine and that the deer population is managed — no, cultivated — to produce more deer so as to sell more hunting licenses and increase revenue.
Last fall, hunters in Maine killed more deer than they had in over 50 years — 38,889 to be exact, more than the population of Lewiston. So, with tens of thousands of these animals exterminated every year, how are they still deemed “overpopulated”? Well, deer reproductive rates depend largely on the availability of food and habitat — self-management. After hunting season, the spike in both results in increased breeding and more sets of twins. Simply put, more hunting equals more deer, as any conservationist should know.
In addition, wildlife management agencies routinely kill off natural predators such as bears, wolves, and coyotes in order to ensure plenty of deer for hunters to shoot. If the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife wants to see fewer deer, it should be encouraging hunters to leave animals in peace, not to shoot more does. And I think the fact that hunters are likely to go after bucks is further proof that they don’t give a hoot about conservation. They kill for the trophy — and the thrill. That’s what you see when you read a real hunting magazine.
Michelle K. Reynolds
The PETA Foundation