Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Bambi our most dangerous animal:
It is possible to change most people’s perceptions with something as simple as a motion picture. The Walt Disney movie “Bambi” is a sterling example of this, and it did change our perception of deer. In the public's eye the deer is an entirely harmless animal hunted out of sure pleasure. The truth is the cute little deer is the most deadly animal found in North America although there are plenty of contenders for the title the deer wins this one hands down.
Deer are capable of causing injuries and fatalities in many different ways. The most common way is by colliding with a car. Another way that you can be killed by a deer is by being struck with his front hooves that are as sharp as knives and powerful. Another way is if the deer charges you this is most likely to happen during rutting season necause the male takes you for a rival. A doe defending her fawns is another way you can be killed by deer.
This is not taking into consideration the billions of dollars worth of property damage that deer cause every year. Just ask anyone that lives in an area that is overpopulated. A good example of this overpopulation occurs in Fairfield County Connecticut. Many of the residents there have come to look at the deer population as an absolute nuisance and dangerous too.
One night after midnight the author had to drive down the Taconic Parkway in New York State. On this drive he counted over two hundred deer either on the highway itself and more alongside the highway on the shoulders. If it wasn't for his extreme caution we would have hit one of these deer. This was a situation fraught with danger that could have resulted in a wrecked car, and a human fatality and killing one of the deer.
It isn't only on the highway that deer are dangerous. On another occasion the author saw a deer that suddenly appeared in the center of the town where he lived. The deer crashed through the window of a beauty salon, wrecked the place and seriously injured three patrons with its hoofs.
More then one hiker has been killed or injured through an encounter with a deer in the wild. Deer have sharp hooves at the end of their forelegs, and they know how to use them to defend themselve’s if they feel threatened. During part of the year a buck deer has a rack of anthers that are intended for use as weapons during the mating season while fighting over does with other buck deer. The buck deer’s antlers are large multi-pointed bony growths on the deer’s head that end in many sharp points. A chance encounter with a deer may end in tragedy for the human.
A particular dangerous encounter can happen with a wounded deer suddenly coming back to life, and kicking the hunter with his hooves or antlers. More then one hunter has been killed or seriously injured from an encounter of this sort.
Deer are also able to do property damage because of their eating habits. One of their favorite meals is your backyard garden, or your decorative shrubs. There is a whole industry devoted to keeping deer out of your garden, and another one that tries to keep them away from your shrubs.
The amount of damage they can cause by darting out in front of your car is measured in the billions every year. This is why some drivers equip their cars with little supersonic whistles mounted on their front bumpers so they can scare the deer enough so they won't dart out in front of them.
Because of a Walt Disney classic “Bambi” most people have the wrong idea about deer. They wrongly give them human attributes, when in reality they are wild animals. In many places the deer population has run amok because of ill directed public policy that was created by well intentioned humans. This misguided policy is neither kind to the deer, and creates as very real danger to humans and their property.
There is no good deed that goes unpunished so the old saying goes, so be it with deer. It has been found that no matter how a protective ordinance makes you feel good another old saying is, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!” Virtually every one of these ordinances has resulted in overcrowding of the deer population. They have greatly increased the danger of a chance encounter with the human population.