Vassar College , there can now be no doubt, is a leader in land management techniques. Facing a threat posed by ravenous deer to flora Vassar prefers be reserved for endangered birds, it teams with federally-licensed marksmen annually to rid Vassar's farm of them. The venison, citizens were told some years ago, is donated to food pantries, but investigations have determined that to have been a lie. The carcasses are processed in a lab, and are then discarded as waste.
Way to go, Vassar!
We've recently received the following offensive diatribe (offense, the transparent, hackneyed defense) from Hunters Helping the Hungry. We don't like it. We would like the name of just ONE FOOD PANTRY TO WHICH THE VENISON WAS GIVEN.
"This posting is an absolute fabrication. As one of the folks involved in the removal process (after the deer have been shot) I can assure the community that the deer are butchered, packaged and used to provide food for the needy in our community. My organization would not be involved in a cull if the meat was going to be wasted. The "Hunters Helping the Hungry" Program in Dutchess County has processed and delivered more than 350,000 pounds of meat to the local (and beyond) food pantries and soup kitchens. Well over 1.2 to 1.4 million meals have been provided to people in the most need in our community since our program started.
In regard to Vassar's management of their Eco Center, Keeping the deer population under control offers one of the best means of maintaining a healthy and diverse environment at the Center (Vassar Farm). I recall a conversation that took place just prior to the first Vassar cull.One of the people opposed to taking any deer off the Farm commented that she didn't care about the oven bird.
That particular species would nest on the Farm, but in recent years, had all but disappeared because of the damage done by the growing deer herd. Diversity of habitat provides diversity of wildlife. There is no need to sacrifice one species for another.
It takes but a few years for the deer population to rebound following a cull. This year New York State hunters will harvest 210,000 - 230,000 deer. In the last ten years nearly 2.3 million deer have been harvested, and still there is no shortage of deer.
The ten-year harvest has provided at least 70,000,000 million pounds of meat that made it to the table. The deer herd is a renewable resource. Managing it properly will keep it healthy and protect important habitat for other species that people care about. Deer are a beautiful animal, but so are the others that can provide so much joy to wildlife watchers.
In the meantime, the people claiming to have investigated what happens to the deer culled from Vassar Farm should provide the evidence they claim to have that shows that the meat was wasted. If there has been waste I for one, would be very disappointed."
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