Letters to the Editor

Better ways to cull deer in Iowa City

Bowhunting of deer in urban areas is a clear menace, violating safety and the right to be undisturbed on one’s own property.

The season for bowhunting is more than four months, and bowhunters can shoot close to one’s property and follow wounded deer into private yards.

The deer die horribly, often bleeding for hours, and the high proportion that don’t die might be wounded for months.

Recently the Iowa Department of Natural Resources required Iowa City to implement a bowhunt if the city wishes to limit the deer population. Reports from other cities indicate past bowhunts haven’t diminished the herd over the long run, but they have angered and frightened residents.

The DNR’s motive is money, but there are more appropriate ways to raise revenue than this retrograde, invasive and cruel practice.

Are deer such a problem? Examination of accidents involving deer and vehicles show these mainly occur in one or two locations. Likewise, only a few residents complain that deer enter their gardens, and these are mostly in two or three city locations. And although Iowa City’s written policies include nonlethal methods of deer control, no apparent time or money has been spent implementing them.

Peaceful animals in our midst are not enemies but an asset. Our group, the Iowa City Deer Friends, advocates a policy of initial sharpshooting and sterilization as a means of safe, more humane coexistence. Iowa City claims to be an enlightened community; here’s a chance to try something better.

Florence Boos Iowa City

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