To the Editor:
This year’s Spring DNR hearings will be held Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at 72 locations throughout the state. The hearings are an opportunity for the public to express their opinions on a variety of outdoor proposals and topics, and to participate in a non-binding vote on the proposals.
This year’s ballot contains question #35, which asks, “Would you favor legalizing the harvest of white and albino deer statewide?” The question is prefaced by some background information about these unique and beautiful creatures, and states in part that “these animals are at a selective disadvantage because they lack the typical protective coloration and are more visible, making them more susceptible to predators.” Really?
Here in Boulder Junction we have had uninterrupted snow cover since early November. By the looks of the snow banks outside our window, it’s a safe bet that things will be white around here well into April. What might be perceived as a competitive disadvantage in the summer sure looks like a terrific advantage for nearly half the year. The “normal” colored deer are easily spotted against nature’s winter backdrop, while their white-colored relatives travel stealthily through the neighborhood, not easily detected by man or predator.
The ballot also states that, “From a strictly biological perspective, there is no reason to protect white deer.” So? Taking that “logic” to the extreme, there is also no biological reason to create music or art, marvel in wonder at a Northwoods sunrise, or allow people with disabilities to live, but we should, and we must. Sometimes we need to put the science aside for a moment and appreciate things for the pure enjoyment that they provide.
Please don’t assume that we are in any way suggesting that deer hunting be unnecessarily restrained. We love the smell of a savory venison roast simmering for hours in the slow cooker, or a fresh backstrap sizzling on the grill. Deer meat is a natural, sustainable, renewable, and organic source of protein, and we enjoy it regularly. But we encourage you to consider how blessed we are to be able to experience these unique and secretive “ghost deer,” and vote “No” on question #35.
Randy & Debbie Augustinak