YouTube: PBS/YouTube

Meet the Women Keeping Long Island's Urban Deer Population in Check

As hunter numbers continue to dip over most of the country, deer population numbers keep increasing. It's an especially big problem in urban areas as the ungulates invade people's yards and cause a spike in car/deer accidents. While many urban areas have experimented with a bevy of methods to control deer numbers, hunting remains one of the most effective tools, and hunting in these areas is drawing a whole new group of hunters into the fray. Meet Jacqueline Molina. She's been bowhunting deer on Long Island, New York for the past ten years. She's the founder of a women's hunting group called "Long Island Babes and Bucks."

In this video interview with PBS, Molina talks about her motivations for deer hunting and why she enjoys it so much. Most of her hunting may take place in the suburbs, but you'll likely hear some familiar themes that ring true with hunters no matter where they hunt. It's a fascinating look at how Long Island's deer population has inspired her and other women to take to the field.

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While the setting of Molina's hunts in suburbia may be dramatically different than what most hunters are used to experiencing, it's obvious she's driven for the same reasons as hunters in more remote areas of the country. Molina greatly values the conservation of the deer in Long Island, an area that no longer has natural predators to help keep their numbers in check. Also, like many hunters, she simply appreciates knowing where her meals are coming from. The only meat Molina buys now is chicken.

The Long Island Babes and Bucks Instagram page says they are all about "...empowering and bringing female hunters and anglers together." It's good to see more hunting groups for women popping up in areas where you might not expect, especially in regions that are in dire need of some population control. Gone unchecked, the deer could devastate Long Island's native plant life and cause starvation problems in the herd in the long run. No one wants to see that.

While we know many hunters dislike urban and suburban areas in favor of the vast wilderness and quiet of less populated areas, exploding deer numbers in the city could be helpful for hunting in the long run. New legions of hunters like Molina, who weren't raised in the tradition, are now inspired to take up bows and rifles to participate in conservation. That's a win-win for humans and animals alike in the grand scheme of things, especially when it comes to preserving nature.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels