Close the border

Friday, October 21, 2011

Deer hunting in Cape Girardeau? The city's leaders are giving it serious consideration.

As the spouse of someone whose sweet disposition has been overtaken by a killer instinct, thanks to our growing deer population, I understand why the city might want to allow deer "harvesting" (which is the polite way of saying killing).

But wait a minute. As far as I know it is not illegal for deer to reside inside our city limits. The deer, who come from the deep woods and hillside glades of our forests, are not illegal aliens. Shouldn't the first official step be to declare them illegal?

After all, those cute deer threaten the jobs of countless cats and dogs and occasional potbellied pig that have enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the affections of upstanding Cape Girardeau citizens. As a result, many Cape Girardeans -- those who don't plant outdoor flowers, for example -- think the cute deer deserve special treats. This only encourages more deer to move in, of course, adding to the growing problem of alienation of affections.

After we properly declare the deer to be illegal aliens, we can move on to more serious matters, such as closing our borders.

Right now Cape Girardeau's city limits are wide open. A deer won't encounter even a smidgen of resistance if it decides to move, along with its entire family, into our fine, well-fertilized and over-watered residential areas.

We must close our borders. Doesn't it make much more sense, from a safety point of view, to keep the illegals out instead of turning them into pin cushions for our steel-tipped arrows?

However, we know from experience that illegals have cunning and crafty ways of defying even the toughest border barriers. Fences? Deer can jump a lot higher than you can imagine. Border patrols? There aren't enough conservation agents in the whole state of Missouri to keep out deer who want to get to our greener pastures.

Heck, the conservation folks can't even keep up with the deer population in the wild. This is, of course, a problem of the Conservation Department's making. It hasn't been much more than half a century since nearly all the deer in the state were wiped out. Then the conservation folks came up with regulations and seasons and a whole lot of other stuff to give the deer a huge advantage, and they took it.

Now we have more deer than we can handle, and a lot of those deer like the bright city lights. Just because we're good at creating the problem of too many deer doesn't mean we will be any good at eliminating the problem.

For one thing, all the so-called experts say urban deer hunting has to be limited, for safety reasons, to bow hunting. Balderdash. If we want to kill deer, let us kill them any way we can: guns, explosives, snares, bears (leave it to the Conservation Department to find ways to attract more bears -- until they start eating our pets and small children) and javelins.

I know one wife who, even without the city's permission, is ready to grab a five-iron from the golf bag in our garage the next time she sees that all of her bright yellow petunias have been sheared off by those fearless deer that come onto our patio.

Watch out, deer. Watch out, city. Garden clubs aren't for the weak of stomach anymore.

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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