In response to Kevin R. Rose’s Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Deer Hunting Effect Misrepresented (Connection, Sept. 6-12, 2017).
How convenient for you, Kevin R. Rose, to not mention that you work with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). VDGIF, your employer, profits from the sales of hunting licenses, so it is no surprise that the VDOT data that clearly shows hunting is increasing deer-vehicle collisions in our county bothers you so much.
As a resident in Fairfax County and one who is adjacent to a park where bowhunting is taking place, I also received the postcard you speak of and I requested data from VDOT to see for myself if the content in the postcard is correct and it is. Though it was time consuming to map out all of the deer vehicle collisions (DVCs) in our county over the last three years, which is all VDOT could provide for me, I did see a very obvious trend that did show how approximately 93 percent of all DVCs over the span of these three years is, in fact, within 1 to 1.5 miles of a bow hunted park or in a bow hunted park. So, Kevin Rose, these are not lies as you seem to want to think. Your claims that these are lies are up against the facts – in this case the VDOT data which fortunately is not biased like you are.
Kudos to whoever mailed out these postcards. There are people in our county who are sick and tired of “higher officials” making uneducated decisions and putting the public’s safety at risk. Whoever sent out these flyers seems to have noticed deer carcasses beside these bow hunted parks and decided to look into this. Everyone has a right to VDOT data and I’m glad the author of this postcard reminded us of this, since we clearly can’t rely on people who are running this so-called deer management program or people who work with pro-hunting VDGIF.
Kevin, you go on to argue that 92 percent of Fairfax County is within 1.5 miles of a bow hunted park. Yet, you call the author of the postcard a liar. Please show us how 92 percent of Fairfax County is within 1.5 miles of a park. I grew up in Fairfax County and know well enough you are making this up. All we have to do is look at a map and see that.
As a VDGIF employee you also have access to data from 2005 to 2016. You are comparing 11 years of data that only you seem to have access to to three years of data (2014-2017) explained in the postcards. The postcard clearly states that the author could only obtain three years of data from VDOT. The data in the postcard is based on data collected between May 6, 2014 and April 25, 2017. I had a look at the VDOT data during this time frame and the postcard is accurate in terms of DVCs and locations. If you did your homework and looked at the same dates, you would have the same numbers as the postcard. This also goes for the dates of the deer sterilizations in Fairfax City. The postcard also gave accurate data for those three years.
Not a surprise that you, VDGIF, have several years worth of VDOT data, yet, we the residents of Fairfax County only have access to three years of VDOT data.
As for the research articles you clearly did not read, hunting does increase the overall deer population since hunted herds did have an increased incidence of multiple deliveries. In this case a significant increase of twins and triplets in deer herds that were hunted. Why do you call this insignificant?