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Re: DINOSAUR digest 6

In a message dated 96-07-03 20:37:02 EDT, you write:

>The deer herd here in Utah has been genetically weakened by two forces:
>1) most predators are gone and 2) our deer hunters, nattily sporting a
>room temperature IQ consistently go after the biggest and strongest to
>kill. I would venture to guess that at some time in the future our
>entire herd will be so weakened that it will not survive the winter. Two
>things should happen to promote a healthy herd: bring back the predators
>and extinct the deer hunter. Yes the herd is large, but a disaster lurks
>just out of sight.
And what evidence do you have to make such a claim of "genetic weakening"? Or
for your Chicken Little claim of (typical) doom because of bad ol' man! Just
because most of the deer's predators are gone or reduced does not mean that
the deer that survive must some how be inferior! Neither does the fact that
hunters and hunting is somehow to blame for that typical knee jerk, animal
rights crap!  While true many hunters look for the "big buck" many will take
lesser bucks and even does. I for one am in that category and have no qulams
with taking does. I'm out for meat and the enjoyment of the hunt! I strongly
suggest that you cotact your local Natural Resources and get the facts before
you jump to conclusions about deer genetics. As far as _predator_
reintroduction_ is concerned, you just try to tell the ranchers out there
that you want more wolves, coyotes and mountain lions running around to
"genetically improve" the deer population and see what happens. Unlike most
government programs, game mangement is paid for by the hunters themselves in
the form of liscense fees, stamps and taxes on everything they buy. The
proceeds fund ongoing game management research, _game reintroduction_, and
habitat restoration just to name a few! Hunts are strictly managed (sometimes
too strictly IMO) and even in liberal  Maryland, there  deer are
 overpopulous despite the fact that hunters took over 50,000 deer last
season! Deer populations are on the rise nearly throughout the US! The human
aspect of all this is it is a shot in the arm for local economies during
hunting but I guess that does not matter either.

Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies