You'd better grab a chair before you hear how much one New York borough is coughing up for deer vasectomies.
City officials governing Staten Island have just passed a resolution that sets aside $2 million for performing deer vasectomies over the course of the next three years.
You heard that right: $2 million to sterilize deer.
Not only that, but city officials also put this funding on a type of fast-track so the department overseeing the project can begin sooner rather than later. The project is set to begin this fall and will consist of a contracted company, White Buffalo Inc., tranquilizing bucks, performing vasectomies, and then releasing the deer back into the parks and green spaces they live in. Mayor Bill de Blasio believes this is the fastest and most humane way to solve the problem.
Now I realize I'm from Nebraska, and don't have any business telling Staten Island how to manage their deer herd, but this one is a hard to wrap my head around.
Not only is the city willing to spend $2 million on the project, but they are also missing out on whatever income they could make from selling tags to hunters to take care of the problem. Additionally that meat could either go into the freezer of a lucky hunter, who would appreciate the tasty venison, or go to a local food pantry and supply meat to families who can't put enough food on the table.
It seems simple, if you have a deer problem who do you call? A hunter. At least that is how its worked for the past 200,000 years or so. Even if your belief system doesn't accept that number, humans have been hunting deer a heck of a lot longer than they haven't. Nothing is easy these days, I guess.
To be sure, there have been many wildlife experts to give sharp criticism of the plan. It's been called "really stupid", "foolish", and predicted "to have a really low chance at success" by professional wildlife experts.
If my mechanic told me my car was going to burst into flames when I drove it out of the shop I guess I'd take his word for it. The folks calling the shots on these deer vasectomies seem more like the type to "risk it" and try to drive the car home.
Spokeswoman Natalie Grybauskas has responded to the criticism by saying, "We welcome input and advice but this situation is vastly different than in any other place in the country."
How so different? Staten Island has deer. Some need to be removed. Let people hunt them. Maybe I'm just a country bumpkin who doesn't understand.
Like I said, the folks at Staten Island can do whatever they want with their deer herd. It's really none of my business. Their solution just seems to highlight a growing misunderstanding of the relationship between man and wildlife. Hopefully this trend will discontinue and folks will begin to remember our true roots as humans. The best way to find those roots: go hunting.