Just as I finished reading Jay Kirkpatrick and Allen Rutberg’s commentary on this page, “Don’t kill the deer in Rock Creek Park,” last Sunday morning, I looked up from my kitchen table to see nine deer grazing brazenly through my ornamental plantings. The picture I took of them (there were too many to capture in one frame) is my rebuttal to the authors’ argument that there is no evidence of overpopulation in Rock Creek Park. At least two does and a gaggle of immatures in a suburban garden inside the Beltway, about a quarter-mile from the park, is not my idea of a well-managed herd.
I have lived in this house for 30 years, but only in the last five have we experienced this level of deer predation. Deer are graceful animals, but they do bear disease and leave droppings and can harm the ecology in large numbers. While the kind of fertility control the authors advocated may be appealing, it is not even worth discussing as long as we have this unnatural overpopulation in an urban area. Drastic measures are long overdue.
The National Park Service has no choice but to bring in sharpshooters to cull this herd before we see the dreaded “browse line” noted by the authors. Tell those sharpshooters to stop by my house after a night’s work, and I’ll buy breakfast.
Just make sure they call first. We wouldn’t want to upset the deer grazing in the yard.