TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Saturday essay: Counting deer

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, June 28, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
 

If the survey was accurate, the just-born fawn bedding down in the thick ivy behind the neighbor's house represents, in the least, Mt. Lebanon's 343rd deer in at least 117 groups.

That's a bit misleading, of course, given that the thermal aerial survey that Vision Air Research used to count the deer and their groupings was conducted four months ago, on the evening of Feb. 25. Deer being deer, well, they reproduce. Whether the birth rate has outpaced the death rate over the last four months — by natural causes, predator or automobile — is hard to factor.

But by any calculation, that's a lot of deer for Mt. Lebanon's 6.06 square miles of urbanized suburbia — close to 57 deer per square mile. It's a four-fold increase from 2006. And that's a recipe for lots of problems.

Hundreds of deer “incidents” have been reported over the past two years alone in the South Hills community, including car-deer accidents. Deer have taken to running in packs. Kids have been chased. Walkers have been challenged. And not just in parks, parklets or yards. We're talking on the streets.

The debate is raging over “options.” Mt. Lebanon hasn't culled its deer herd in six years. Deer lovers say leave deer enough alone. More reasoned folks know the dangers — everything from damaging the eco-balance of the flora to, if the deer become injured and diseased, inviting even more unsavory fauna (think coyotes), to more roadkill, to, God forbid, someone dying in a close encounter of the deer kind.

Doing nothing would be the reckless “option.”

­— Colin McNickle

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  2. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  3. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
  4. The Brady affair: Contract law
  5. Medicare @ 50: Sick, getting sicker
  6. The Thursday wrap
  7. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  8. Sunday pops
  9. Regional growth
  10. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  11. Laurels & Lances