Dispelling a Popular Hunting Myth
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


The National Humane Education Society
October 2009

[Ed. Note: Not mentioned in this article as one of the causes for "so many deer" is that many government entities actually have organized deer-feeding programs just to ensure there will be an abundance of deer for hunters.]

Sportsmen—that’s the name given to people who stalk and shoot unsuspecting sentient beings who make the mistake of wandering into the crosshairs during hunting season. Sport? Sports are played between teams, people, or groups who are all aware they are playing the game. Hunting deer is unethical and unnecessary.


In this modern society, there is no reason to hunt and kill deer for fun. However, there are plenty of excuses for participating in this “sport.” One of the most popular excuses hunters use to justify killing deer is to control the deer population. They claim that there are too many deer in areas heavily populated with humans.

One question that might arise out of this is, “Why are there so many deer?” The answer to this question is clear—because humans have encroached on their land, building roads through their grazing grounds, townhouses on their deforested, leveled woodlands. Humans—hunters especially—are responsible for killing off natural deer predators, leading to overpopulation.

That aside, these hunters have a point—deer are being hit by cars and are often found munching on the gardens of suburbia. Studies have shown that the number of deer/car collisions increases during hunting season, as the deer are flushed from their natural forest habitats. The hunters’ solution? Shoot them. There are several other, humane methods of controlling deer populations in areas inhabited by people. The first is to control the birth rate of local herds of deer by injecting deer with birth control. A second solution is to return an area back to its natural state by reintroducing natural predators and allowing forest regrowth. A third solution—put a stop to the creation of new feeding grounds. By clearing forests and creating lawns and fields, society is begging for deer to flourish in a given area.

The question is not, “Is there a deer overpopulation problem?” The question is, “How do we effectively, humanely address this issue?”

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