I am a guy who physically moves myself at a very slow speed in and around South Park. Some people call this running. In my case, they’re simply a series of very coordinated spasms, strung together over 45 minutes, available for public viewing. My jogging always takes me up and around the areas of South Park that are the most infested with deer.
Infested is the right word in this case, because there are deer everywhere. On Monday, I saw at least ten in the circle that comprises South Hills proper. This morning, I saw five more on top of South Park (including two young bucks with ten points between them hanging out in a newly cleared lot), and more on Dorsey.
And wouldn’t you know it, we’re in the midst of the ongoing discussion about the city’s urban deer hunt, a controversial topic for entirely understandable reasons: some people want the deer shot, some people don’t, and there isn’t much middle ground available between killing and living. It doesn’t do much good to simply damage the deer.
The City Council has begun again tackling this subject, and although I slag the group off on a regular basis, I’m hoping they again come to their senses and authorize the hunt. I say this not as an environmentalist concerned about the deer population (although that is a good reason). I say this not as a communitarian, concerned about driver safety on foggy mornings (although that is also a good reason). I say this as a jogger who is routinely scared shitless when I come around a corner and encounter an unexpected deer. These animals have become so acclimated to the neighborhoods that they simply do not give any ground. They rarely flee. I have occasionally run within ten feet of them, a disconcerting thought whenever I have time between wheezing breaths to think about the situation.
I’m mostly kidding of course. I don’t wish these animals ill will. But as I’ve written before, allowing their numbers to grow exponentially within city limits will not lead to an animal wonderland such much as a nightmare like we have seen in previous years. A starving deer population isn’t good for deer and it isn’t good for us. An urban deer hunt then, although not necessarily popular, remains necessary, and here’s hoping the City Council reauthorizes it.