NPS boasts of killing 26 deer in Rock Creek Park

On the 14th of December, the National Park Service issued a press release claiming to have shot and killed 26 deer in Rock Creek Park in a one-night operation. That would have to have been Dec 7, when they shut down operations in the face of protesters setting up. Either they shot deer earlier in the evening to evade protests or they waited out protesters and post-protest patrols, then returned.

Since the quota was for only 20 deer and they exceeded it, it is possible that even more deer would have been shot if protesters had not disrupted the night's killing. While protesters were set up between 10PM and midnight on Dec 7 it appeared no deer were being shot as prevously closed roads were reopened. To hold them to zero deer shot might have required protesters to be in position from 6:30PM when the first roads are closed all the way to 4AM, the mandated shutdown time of these killing sessions.

The Park Service release refers to "Biologists who are also highly trained firearms experts," which in prior years has meant the USDA's "wildlife services" killers who are famous elsewhere for using poison baits and bullets to kill coyotes. Wildlife "Services" is infamous for the cruelty of some of the poisons they have used against predators disliked by ranchers.

The Park Service also stated that they donated 700 pounds of venison (deer meat) from this shooting to "a Washington, D.C. food bank" which in the past has been DC Central Kitchen. At least they are not letting meat rot or using it for pet food, but here in DC most lower income people are very unfamiliar with venison and it is not as well liked here as it would be in a more rural area. Due to the timing of the donations, have even been reports of children served this meat in the city asking whether they were eating Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Bambi. Others have reported being glad to have something to eat but at the same time feeling sorry for these deer.

Since March 2013 the Park Service is claiming to have reduced deer density from 100 to 20 per square mile, implying a claim to have shot or driven off 80% or Rock Creek's deer. For about a week after Dec 7, an unusual number of deer were visible near Beach Drive on the MD side of the border, they have since dispersed. It is possible they were refugees from the night of slaughter in the DC portion of Rock Creek Park.

Some conflate these killings with hunting but it is not the same thing. Many hunters will kill one deer only, then they and their families eat the meat as long as it holds out. A single man might pack away all he can store and donate the rest to a food bank, or someone might donate a portion of the meat simply for reasons of sharing. In these cases the killing is done for the direct purpose of eating, same as it is when wolves or bears hunt. By comparison the Park Service may kill many deer at once, then give the meat to DC Central Kitchen. This meat is not the reason they are killing deer, instead they are "playing God." by deciding how many deer are too many while they themselves are also members of a severely overpopulated species. All arguments for culling deer apply with greater force to ourselves. Since we have an overwhelming consensus not to do that and instead we use birth control, the deer should receive the same consideration.Anything less is utter hypocrisy. Yes,some other areas are now using birth control methods for deer, and the fact that no wolves exist in the park is the consequence of yet another program of organized, state-sponsored killing-the kind Wildlife "Services" is still doing to coyotes.

All rights reserved.