Disappearing deer?

Richard Brady’s occasional columns in the Rappahannock News bring a smile to all of us who read them.  However, I wish he would stop complaining about Rappahannock County’s participation in the Earn-A-Buck program. His most recent column is the most recent of these. The Earn-A-Buck program prohibits hunters from taking two antlered deer consecutively.  (It does not “require killing a doe for every antlered deer.”)

Deer are smart animals. During hunting season, I am sure they fled from the eight hunters seen in the Country Cafe to posted land where hunting is prohibited, such as my property. I have deer here all year round, and they are devastating the saplings in my forest and the plants in my garden.

I would imagine that Mr. Brady has a nice high deer-proof fence around his famous vegetable garden. I invite him to remove it to see how many deer are really around and the damage they can do.

A final note: The hunters on the property neighboring mine come from the Shenandoah Valley; they tell me that they come here for deer hunting because we have deer here, whereas they can’t find any in the Valley.

Maureen Harris

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1 Comment

  1. I hope that Mr. Brady continues to oppose the Earn-A-Buck program in our county.

    The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ website states that the Earn-A-Buck is required because “[t]he Department’s Deer Management Plan calls for deer populations to be reduced in all these counties, and traditional liberal deer regulations have not completely achieved that objective.” When the regulation was put in place for Rappahannock, looking at the historic deer harvest data, there was no evidence of an increasing population. The Earn-A-Buck program is designed to lower the population, are you arguing that it is not having its intended effect? If it is ineffective, remove it. If it is overly effective and the population is dropping too low remove it. If deer are overpopulating the county, then keep it in place. But please supply evidence of that overpopulation on a countywide basis.

    If there is an overpopulation of deer and an individual’s land has a population so high that “they are devastating the saplings in [one’s] forest and the plants in [one’s] garden” perhaps that individual has a duty to allow hunters on her land to effectively implement the goals of the Earn-A-Buck program she supports. If that individual is worried about gunfire, there are plenty of bowhunters who would help out.

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