Experiment Lives On (YUCK)

By USP President Wayne Haas

Quite a few years ago, a guy went around the state describing the great experiment. This guy was the PGC. The experiment would be to shoot the antlerless deer and all will be better. What a bunch of Bull. The guy told all that he had no data to support his beliefs to try the experiment. The guy did say that if the great experiment worked we would live happily ever after BUT, if the great experiment did not work, he would learn from it and make the changes needed. What a bunch of Bull. His premise to this experiment was that there were so many deer that they themselves were unhealthy and that there were so many deer that they were causing great harm to the forests and to other wildlife. What a bunch of bull. It did not take USP very long to show PGC generated data that deer were in fact not unhealthy and never were unhealthy even at the high populations of earlier decades. Then came the claim that deer were eating up the forest. As you remember at the time the experiment started there was no data to support it but the guy said data was going to start to be collected that would prove the point. At a PGC/DCNR meeting in 2004 he said this would be the most important study that we will ever do. This study would show the need for the great experiment! Leave USP give you the results of the Browse Study that was done on 1600 miles of transects with around 47,000 individual plots that covered 88% of the state forest system. There were some 50-species including greenbrier, sassafras, grape, cheery, maple, and oaks to mention a few. Ready for the most important data ever? Hold onto your hat and you may want to bring in the children. The browse intensity was listed in 5 categories being 1-None, 2-Light, 3-Moderate, 4-Heavy, and 5-Severe. And the study said: 89% was None to Light, another 7% was Moderate, and for the reason the PGC said we needed to slaughter our deer herd- 4% was Heavy to Severe. Stop right there. 96% was NONE, LIGHT, or MODERATE while 4% was Heavy or Severe! And now you know some of the rest of the story. It was at this point that if the guy (PGC) was true to his word, he would have said he was wrong, learned from his mistake, and stopped the great experiment. Of course, that is not what he did. What he did was quit and left. What the PGC did was to continue the experiment to this day and they will not change. They have said in meetings at the Capital that “their deer management is Second to None in the Country”. They will not learn from their mistake and they will not change. That is why we have and are working for the passage of HB1483. We ask our Legislators, please pass HB1483.

The truth of the matter is that deer are supposed to eat trees and other plants. USP in no way is fixed on putting an enormous deer population on the ground that would destroy the forest. We are trying to get deer back to what there can be and to do habitat restoration that would help many species of wildlife including our state bird the ruffed grouse which is in decline because of poor habitat.

We need to keep getting the facts out to those that either don’t know or keep forgetting. We also need to try to add to our membership. Please ask some of you hunting buddies, friends, and relatives if they would join USP and help to get HB 1483 to fix the mess we are in.

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