City Desk

Photo: Gruesome Deer Wandering Around Montgomery County

Not the deer, gruesome deer photo below.

While the proposed deer culling in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park has been hung up by a lawsuit, Montgomery County started its own culling program in Rock Creek Stream Valley Park last month. But according to one animal rights group, not all the deer that get shot in Montgomery County die.

According to animal rights group In Defense of Animals, a Montgomery man walking in the woods on Feb. 23 saw a deer with part of its jaw blown open, as if shot during a controlled deer cull. (Gory photo after the jump.) When he contacted Montgomery park police to put the deer down, though, he was treated indifferently. "They basically told him that they can't do anything," says Anja Heister, a director at the animal rights group. "But they might be able to tell the sharpshooters about this deer, and they might be able to track the deer down the following evening."

In Defense of Animals says the deer's wound likely came from Montgomery sharpshooters. As far as Heister knows, the deer was never put out of its misery. "If she's still alive, she's going to die of infection, which you know is a very gruesome death," she says.

I'm waiting to hear back from Montgomery officials in charge of the cull. But if the deer was a survivor from a cull, Heister says it's an example of how deer culls are not as clean or simple as government agencies would suggest. She would prefer to see the deer population reduced, not with guns and bows, but with contraception.

Update, 5:20 p.m.: Rob Gibbs, a Montgomery County official who oversees the deer management program, says In Defense of Animals is drawing unfair conclusions about the culling. "I think they're taking one animal that somebody saw, that nobody knows exactly what the injury came from, and kind of blowing it up," Gibbs says.

The deer sharpshooting that started this year has resulted in 495 deer deaths, according to Gibbs. In the program's history, only around 1 percent of bullets fired have resulted either in a miss or the failure to kill the deer immediately, he says.

Top photo by Mr. T In DC via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License, photo at left In Defense of Animals

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  • Typical DC BS

    Now the animal rights morons can tell who shot a deer just by looking at it. What will they claim next - ESP powers so they can tell us the deer are afraid of us?

    Too bad the Defense of Animals members parents didn't practice contraception.

  • anons

    Teenage kids hunting for the first time who've played too many video games, shoot for the head. Sharpshooters shoot for center of mass.

    That picture is ridiculous, You can't even tell if thats a bullet wound, an infection the deer caught naturally, a car hit survivor, etc.

    Sharpshooting to cull wildlife population is a long used method in every state of the nation.

    Only clueless urban dwellers think trying to give deer birth control is a legit solution. We can't even get the teen population to reliably take contraceptives, how exactly do you intend on doing it to deer? Spreading chemically laced food all over Rock Creep Park that every animal would eat?

    The deer population has increased by 2000 percent in the past 25 years. A long established healthy population is 20 per square mile. Rock Creek Park currently has more than 80 per square mile. The deer are suffering, malnurished and forced to leave the park habitat to seearch for food, and then end up as road kill on Connecticut Ave.

    The Park Service, Montgomery County etc should simply authorize one day for sharpshooting. Half a dozen shooters spread through the park could take out 100 in a day, and that would be the end of it.

    Other jurisdictions then donate the meat to local food banks or charities.

  • Jennifer

    This whole thing is so incredibly disturbing and horrifyingly sad. Reading the comments...God! Do you people have no feelings at all? This is a living being, walking around, obviously in pain and misery. Who cares if you're "animal rights" or not? Who gives you the right to play God and decide who/what lives or dies? Because we've killed screwed up the ecosystem, we've killed off all the natural predators of the deer, we should now kill the deer; and, then what? Killing sprees seem to be screwing us up more than anything. Regardless, I hope that you heartless commenters are the ones "sterilized." We don't need any more inhumane people on this earth (What an incredibly rude an inappropriate comment). We've obviously got plenty.

  • Typical DC BS

    I see Jennifer's another failure of the education system. Logic and common sense continue to elude her. Sorry, your idiocy is just too apparent.

    The deer have outgrown their habitat and hunting needs to happen. Stop with the faux concern for their "welfare", you have no clue how to manage this problem. Contraceptives ARE NOT THE ANSWER. Shoot them (typical libtards - bring in sharpshooters, instead of hunters who will pay for the hunting), then donate the meat to the food banks. Two problems alleviated (temporarily) at once.