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NY Town spends $2,984 per deer in sterilization program

NY Town spends $2,984 per deer in sterilization program

Program will not even reduce deer population to environmentally safe level.

We have written before about the deer sterilization program in Cayuga Heights, which borders the Cornell campus (most people think of it as Ithaca, but it’s actually a separate municipality).

Because Reproductive Health Care Is A Cervine Right:

I have written before about the moral angst sweeping the upscale Village of Cayuga Heights, bordering the Cornell campus and home to a large number of professors and staff, over how to control the out-of-control deer population.

After years of debate, which tore the community apart, Cayuga Heights has come up with a solution:

The board of trustees passed a resolution Monday night to begin implementation of the phased options approach to deer management. The village will begin with the surgical sterilization of 20-60 does within a two-year period, followed by the culling of the remainder of the herd.

The cost per sterilization? Don’t ask:

The first phase of sterilization is estimated to take two years at an average cost of $1,200 per doe, according to the statement.

If they do for our health care system what they’ve done for the deer of Cayuga Heights, we’re sunk.

How did it work out?

The Ithaca Journal reports, Cayuga Heights spends $35K to sterilize 12 does:

The latest round of village deer sterilizations removed ovaries from 12 deer in December and cost taxpayers $35,808.

Does were shot with tranquilizer darts and taken to a temporary surgical facility, according to a report by White Buffalo Inc. The company conducted the sterilizations and reported that no deer died during capture, surgery or release….

Costs for this winter’s doe sterilization were well above early estimates, set at $1,000 per animal. The cost for the December sterilizations was $2,984 per deer.

“The cost per deer rises when you’re trying to pick the last few out,” Cayuga Heights Mayor Kate Supron said. A high percentage of sterilized does is crucial for deer population control, she added.

During December 2012, the village spent $148,315 to remove ovaries from 137 female deer, an average of $1,082.

For the 2013 fiscal year, Cayuga Heights spent $8,294 in legal consulting fees on deer population control, and $21,277 for a Cornell University study on the number of deer in the village.

So will the plan even work?  No, under current estimates it still will leave the deer populiation 4-5 times the environmentally healthy level, as the Journal further reports:

Paul Curtis, a wildlife specialist in Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, said the population is well above what’s healthy for the environment. Curtis recommended that suburban communities, such as Cayuga Heights, have deer population densities below 15 to 20 deer per square mile.

Supron said a 10 percent to 15 percent drop in the village’s deer herd is expected. Most village deer are no longer breeding, and others are being killed by cars or natural causes.

“That would still leave us with over 100 deer per square mile,” Supron said.

Welcome to my world.


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Speechless in Idaho.

    GrumpyOne in reply to JoAnne. | January 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Imagine all those deer in a freezer… Yum!

    slumlorD84 in reply to JoAnne. | January 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm


“…bordering the Cornell campus and home to a large number of professors and staff…”

They are sterilizing the wrong animal.

Course they did the does, they are probably providing erection pumps to the bucks.

    Sozo in reply to betty. | January 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Libs do tend to cozy up to big bucks, if you catch my drift.

    Archer in reply to betty. | January 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    That was my thought. Wouldn’t sterilizing a few bucks be enormously less expensive than dozens of does?

    Or, they could, you know, sell tags to hunt the deer. Even allow for hunting of does. Then – even at the astonishingly-low rate of $40 per tag – it’d be a money-making scheme instead of a money-losing one.

      walls in reply to Archer. | January 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Added bonus for the lib crowd: you could pay in Ithaca dollars.

      Archer writes: “That was my thought. Wouldn’t sterilizing a few bucks be enormously less expensive than dozens of does?”

      Doesn’t work that way. Does are the reproductive bottleneck. Kill/sterilize all the bucks but one, and he’ll happily impregnate every doe in heat he comes across–meaning, ALL of them.

      As a human model of this, look to Soviet population after WWII. A great many males killed during the way. But population quickly (in population terms) back up. I imagine the Soviet male survivors were often quite tired in the post-war years.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        AB: “Does are the reproductive bottleneck. Kill/sterilize all the bucks but one, and he’ll happily impregnate every doe in heat he comes across–meaning, ALL of them.”

        Good point, and obvious in hindsight. (That’s what I get for posting before thinking things all the way through!)

        I still say that selling tags to hunt all the deer – including, and perhaps especially, the does – would turn it into an income generator for the local government, instead of a cash hemorrhage (although, also in hindsight, it’s probably not that simple either, if it’s a suburban community and not a rural area).

        GrumpyOne in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm


        Bucks retain their aggressive/protective characteristics but shoot blanks.

        Less deer will result in less aggravation to residents and deer alike…

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm

It’s not enough that they want to reorder society to control how we live, now they want to reorder deer society and control how they live, too.

Next thing you know they’ll have some grand scheme to confiscate trillions of dollars from us so they can pretend to control the weather.

Liberals are always passing the buck.

Hunting permits will take care of their Deer overpopulation program.

    G. de La Hoya in reply to Sanddog. | January 14, 2014 at 6:34 am

    You certainly do not live near the east coast with such a common sense answer as you have provided. Arrow=$3.00, slug=$1.00. ‘Course, I am the bassackward, unenlightened one living in flyover country. Wink, wink.

    Hitmanfortruth in reply to Sanddog. | January 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Hunting permits will do nothing to reduce the numbers of these deer. In fact, the issuing of such would be in strict violation of firearms safety. These vermin are nothing but neighborhood deer and any attempt to shoot them in their environment will put all the homeowners in that location at extreme risk. As for your anticipated response of using bow hunters, unless you can guarantee a one shot and drop hunt, which you can’t, nobody in that area is going to want you tracking a wounded deer across their front or back yard lawns………I know I wouldn’t and I’m a hunter. The only true and safe solution to the problem is rather then tranking and sterilizing the deer, just trank them and get them the hell out of the area……..

Another Voice | January 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

This is cost of a program of what the far left are willing to pay for “unintended consequences” for a program that is over budget and fails to meet it’s intended purpose. Yet in the real world, meaning every place outside of their very small, undiversified world, those who have the best interest of others and the land at heart are gleaning the deer population and either using the meat, as one does with any livestock, or donating it to local charities, county jails or food pantries. The entire “community” program reeks of a self-serving agenda and does nothing to resolve the original goal. In practice, it replicates the same principals we see in our current administration and “Obamcare”.

You can understand why Prof. Jacobson lives “down off the hill” in a working class neighborhood.

    platypus in reply to Another Voice. | January 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Far left willing to pay? When did that start? Last time I checked it was far left willing to stick others with the bill.

    Of course, I’m just a cranky tea partier.

      Another Voice in reply to platypus. | January 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Approx. 3,700 residents in this village have a property tax base value of $379,876,000. The operating budget is $3,825,000.(excludes reserve accounts) via property taxes and additional $2,500,000.00 through service fees and rates for water and sewer. They also pay additional Town and County Taxes and School Taxes based on the property value. You do the math.

Damn. In Texas you pay for the privilege and call it “Deer Season.”

Mayhap that’s why we don’t have an income tax….

‘That’s real retarded, sir.’

LibraryGryffon | January 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

A friend of mine grew up in Western CT in an area which has become a bedroom community for NYC. The deer herds there were also severely oversize, and anytime anyone suggested a hunt they were greeted with bleats of how “cruel” it is to hunt the animals. My friend’s response was “Come and watch them starve to death in my back yard, and then tell me which is crueler.”

    I hate animal lovers. They are the cruelest to animals of any group. But as long as they don’t have to think about it, they can go about on their rainbow clouds.

Damn, that makes me hungry! In Texas we eat’em!

“at an average cost of $1,200 per doe”

That’s $300 for the surgery and $900 for the facilitator to explain the procedure to the deer and get it to sign the consent forms.

maybe they could set up abortion centers for deer?

casualobserver | January 13, 2014 at 1:56 pm

But, but, but….JOBS!!! Using progressive math, won’t this create almost $60k in economic stimulus???? ($35k X 1.75)

Who among us wants to take food out of the mouths of the babes of those wildlife workers?

(All sarcasm)

Cities/towns all over Michigan have been actively pursuing “sterilization” policies for years. Deer tend to thrive where they cannot be hunted.

To me, this is yet another classic example of liberals pointing to failed liberal policies as the reason to enact more liberal policies.

The war on deer hunters continues-

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Browndog. | January 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    >> To me, this is yet another classic example of liberals pointing to failed liberal policies as the reason to enact more liberal policies. <<

    Or, as Reagan once said about central planners, 'the more the plans fail the more the planners plan.'

    Estragon in reply to Browndog. | January 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Deer aren’t stupid, either. There are areas of my property where I’ve allowed hunting and other areas where I never allow it. The herds and bucks figure it out.

Henry Hawkins | January 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I see some wingnut PETA-affiliated class action lawsuit on behalf of NY deer in the near future.

I HATE DEER. They’re like rats around here. The property destruction,including cars is outrageous. Driving around my area is terrifying. An infectious disease expert said lyme is way under-reported and in epidemic numbers. Also new diseases are increasing, POW virus(encephalitis)and babeosis, a parasite shuts down liver and kidneys. One deer can carry 10k ticks. Shoot them and their creepy fans.

    Browndog in reply to rotate. | January 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    To me, deer are like a beautiful woman.

    You’ve seen them all you life, sometimes they all look the same.

    Still, when you see one, you can’t help but to stop and stare…at the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see…today.

Choot ’em!!!

A hunter killing a deer? Inhumane!

A mother killing an inconvenient fetus? A right!

Gotta love liberal logic.

NC Mountain Girl | January 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I wonder how many of those who find hunting local deer cruel will also pay $$$$ for the farm raised venison entree at a fine dining establishment?

The largely upscale urban anti-hunting forces have lost some ground in recent years to the equally upscale urban foodies who not only like the taste of game but who know that wild caught tastes better than farm raised. It has helped that celebrity chefs such as Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have gone hunting on their shows.

They spent a mountain in Lower Merion (on the Philadelphia “main line”) to handle the excess of deer.
They went through the deer contraceptives with no luck (I’m not sure if the deer knew how to take them or not) but finally called in the hunters (i.e. those guys with guns) to lower the expanding population of deer, but because it’s a residential area, hunters are allowed to use only shotguns or bows, and only in certain areas, with homeowners’ permission.
The deer population of Lower Merion Township dropped 30 percent from 2008 to 2012, but according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, it’s still four times higher than recommended for the suburban area.

I blame the shrubs. Most of these beautiful garden plantings are a delicacy for these deer (i.e. Hosta .. deer cabbage).

    LibraryGryffon in reply to Neo. | January 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I think “Deer Crack” would be a better name for it. Here in Western CT, my parents have never had a hosta survive for long, thanks to the hooved rats.

    David Yotham in reply to Neo. | January 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Yup, bow hunting works fine in the parks of Fargo ND. Cleans out the excess deer and makes for easy food.

    Neo writes: “hunters are allowed to use only shotguns or bows”

    Nothing wrong with either of those options. I never had much luck with a bow, not sure why, but many folks take many, many deer with them.

    A shotgun, of course, especially in modern attire, is an awesome deer killer. WIth rifled barrels and saboted slugs–wonderful, reach distances I could only have imagined as a young man.

    And of course one can always go old-school, with buck shot (hence the name).

    Especially in upstate NY, where the woods are so dense, one doesn’t ever really need (or have the opportunity to take advantage of) a gun that can reach out hundreds of yards.

    My Marlin 336 in 30-30 had ballistics that were better than a shotgun, but not by much. Think “mortar” much past 100 yards. Fortunately, almost every shot was within 100 yards, often half that.

    I doubt I’d go deer hunting again–I’m old, and you have to wake up very early, and sit in the cold, and be quiet, and I’m not much good at any of those things anymore–but some of my fondest memories are hunting memories. For sure.

    On the other hand, if anybody has good bird dogs and would enjoy some pleasant conversation on a walking hunt, you know where to find me. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

If it’s just about sterilizing something or somebody, pay me the cost of it and I’ll let ’em sterilize me. I’m over 65 and I’ve done all my breeding so …

Do they know about guns, hunting, and venison?

Deer stories…for deer hunters

About 10 years ago, last day of deer season, my neighbor asked my if I wanted to help push the woods across the street. Seeing how many pick-ups parked at his place, I declined, figuring he had plenty of help.

3 guys walked north to sit. Later, about 8 guys walked south, in front of my place, then crossed the ditch to the woods to start the push. As soon as they all entered the woods, a buck (6-8 pt.) popped out, jumped the ditch, and stood in the road in front of my neighbor’s house. Then, he walked up his drive way, and stood there for 10 minutes. He then walked up between all the trucks parked along side of the garage, slowly, deliberately. Once in the backyard, he trotted off to the woods out back.

I never told him. Never liked him.

    Browndog writes: “Deer stories…for deer hunters”

    Hunting often IS cruel. In my experience, usually to the hunter. 🙂

    It’s why we lie so much about our hunting/fishing feats. Only way to bear the great many humiliations.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    JoAnne in reply to Browndog. | January 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Saw a big mulie in Colorado that crawled behind a large fallen tree until he got to the edge of the forest where he jumped up and hightailed it out of range of my cousin’s rifle! We were so mesmerized, he needn’t have worried! The gun was still pointing down as he ran away!

I spent a good portion of my youth each fall in woods not far from Ithaca “sterilizing” deer gleefully with my Dad’s Marlin 336.

Then I’d gut ’em, butcher ’em, and eat ’em.

Cost to the state? Negative, as I paid for a hunting permit/tags. Cost to me? Whatever that round of .30-30 cost, don’t remember, certainly less than a dollar at the time. And the butchering–I didn’t actually do that part myself, much more efficient to bring it to a pro with a bandsaw, but it wasn’t much, and cut that down if I let him keep the skin (which I had no use for, but some folks apparently do).

The ROI? A freezer full of steaks, stew meat, ground meat, and sausages. Yum, yum.

Best piece of meat I ever ate was venison. Also, worst piece of meat–roll the dice, take your chances. 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Browndog in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I don’t care what they say about you–You’re alright, Andrew.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I suppose you’re claiming self defense….

      Henry writes: “I suppose you’re claiming self defense….”

      Haha, no. I just plumb shot ’em. Lucky enough to have friends with a bunch of acres of corn and a pond. It wasn’t very sporting, really, one reason I gave it up. Basically “deer shopping” via firearm. If I’d wanted (and been permitted) to take a dozen, I could have taken a dozen. The deer came to me (well, to the food and water), I just had to sit quietly and wait for ’em.

      But I HAVE seen a buck attack a bow-hunter. 🙂 Chased that poor guy around a tree, arrows falling everywhere. (He admittedly wasn’t a very good bow hunter.) Whole thing probably only lasted a few seconds, but in the re-telling it takes hours. 🙂

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Exiliado in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        All hunting (and fishing) stories grow a bit every time they’re told. 🙂

        Hehe. When I was growing up in AZ (may still be the case, don’t know) you had to hunt javelina (a nasty, mean relative of the pig with sharp tusks) with bow or pistol. I always figured that gave the javelina an even chance….

        Heard stories about guys being mesquite and cottonwoods when they missed.

Henry Hawkins | January 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

It takes a village to sterilize a deer.

Midwest Rhino | January 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

another bad thing about too many deer (besides stupid feel gooders wasting money on them) … they crowd out other wildlife and eat down good vegetation.

Of course people notice this in their back yard, but in the woods it is also a problem. The loss of certain good vegetation limits habitat for more enjoyable species … like birds, and other mammals.

I’d love to have more pheasant and quail and turkey, but we can’t keep up with the deer and coons. And we hunt pretty vigorously here. Nature lovers should understand those cute deer and raccoons need a lesson in “diversity”, because they are committing “genocide” on their fellow woodland neighbors.

Maybe the “nature lovers” really just like acting superior, and having control.

I have a better, simpler and less expensive plan:

1- Shoot.
2- Roast, stew or jerk.
3- Eat.


Unless,…of course…. I happened to have a cousin married to this veterinarian who runs an animal clinic. Then it would make some sense to spend a few K of taxpayer bucks sterilizing does.

9thDistrictNeighbor | January 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I had a friend in college who made phone calls looking for a veterinarian who would tie her tabby cat’s tubes. She never found one. Who knew Pearl was a visionary….

What are they going to do when too many bears come around?

We had four deer in our yard this morning; I really need to develop a taste for venison.

    9thDistrictNeighbor writes: “I really need to develop a taste for venison.”

    The taste of the venison, in my experience, really depends on what the deer are eating.

    Eating corn. Yeah, that’ll be good venison.

    Eating tree bark and other stuff? Start tossing in bacon and other stuff to get some fat into that venison when cooking.

    I’ve really only ever had the corn-fed venison, and it was often exceptionally good.

    And it DOES make a difference–if only mentally–that one has done the killing himself.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 13, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Yep. I’m from Michigan originally. Browndog is an experienced MI deer hunter, too. There’s a big difference between venison from the upper versus the lower peninsula, based on what they eat. The LP has the farms: corn, wheat, rye, barley, etc., so the deer are grain fed, just like beef cattle. The UP deer are tough hombres, but tough eating, too. The UP is a lot of moss over rock, stubbly growth and a very short growing season – bad for farming. Of course, a good experienced wildlife cook can make anything good. That isn’t me.

      Browndog in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      The key to venison is to have “venison”.

      Venison=cured deer meat.

      Nobody cures it anymore. I hang mine at least 3 days, a week if the temps allow.

      Sooo sweet, so tender.

        Browndog writes: “Nobody cures it anymore. I hang mine at least 3 days, a week if the temps allow.”

        Haha, how funny. We always hung our deer, too, but I always just assumed because it was the duration of our time away. Cold out, natural fridge, where the hell else were we going to keep a gutted deer? In the tub?

        Never thought about the aging/curing properties.

        Still so much to learn. But I’m still young, not even 50 yet (barely). 🙂

        JoAnne in reply to Browndog. | January 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm

        Nothing better than a backstrap roasted quickly and sauced with cherries and a little brandy and butter with a touch of fresh rosemary!

Henry writes: “Of course, a good experienced wildlife cook can make anything good. That isn’t me.”

I’m with you, brother. I’m a “salt it good, throw it on the fire” kind of cook. 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Is this an early April Fools’ joke?

I assume they have to catch the deer to operate on them. Why don’t they just slaughter them “humanely” then, and sell them.

Or is these going to be sterlization practice animals at Cornell Vet School, in lieu of rats?

Do these town officials ever eat meat, or are they all vegetarians?

Don’t they realize that catching the deer and operating on them will give the deer lifelong PTSD? 🙂

That’s it, I’m done.

It’s clear I have cabin fever already-

Thanks, Polar Vortex of Death!

Or, they could, you know, sell tags to hunt the deer. Even allow for hunting of does. Then – even at the astonishingly-low rate of $40 per tag – it’d be a money-making scheme instead of a money-losing one.

That’s what we do here. It’s amazing the ideas that you get when you aren’t home to an Ivy League school.

Squirrel is yummy too!

I could do it for about $.50 each – the cost of a 5.56mm.

As long as I get to keep the venison.

    LSBeene writes: “As long as I get to keep the venison.”

    You shoot it, I’ll buy some.

    Guess I should say “buy” some. Crazy laws these days.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Heck if you were close enough to me here in Michigan I’d give you some. My Montana mule deer boned out to 108 pounds of meat. My hunter friends and I never have problems sharing with friends, no cost to you at all. And eastern Montana where I hunted was all farm land, corn, wheat, soybeans, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans etc.

Assuming Cayuga Heights is democratically led, isn’t this really the democrat war on women? Whatever happened to choice?
Real problem comes from folks not wanting to see how food actually ends up on the table. It isn’t usually pretty, can be mentally tough taking an animal’s life and a lot of today’s citizen aren’t ready for reality.
I’d volunteer to come back (even though my niece already graduated)with my bow but those hills and valleys are worse than my hunts out west. Now if I could drive my Honda Rancher through the liberals front and back yards to retrieve my kill I’d reconsider.

So, instead of generating revenue by selling tags, the village is squandering money on a doomed project.

Is there any question a bunch of regressives came up with this one?

Deer grow to climate, among other variables, and compared to the Michigan deer/horses I grew up with, they look like hound dogs with antlers down here in North Cackalacky. Still, whatever the size, nothing prettier than deer cutting through the woods or field.

Only a lifetime in the Academy could possibly produce people so stupid.

These same bleeding hearts who wail about cruelty to the deer don’t have any problems with having someone stalk the deer, dart them with tranquilizer, restrain them and take them to a facility where they are further drugged, incised, ovaries removed, sewn up, then left out in the woods to attempt to recover and hopefully not have an incision infect, etc.
Notice the article says no deer died during the capture,surgery, or release, who the hell knows what happened to them afterwords.
Anyone who has had a female cat or dog sterilized knows how crappy the animal feels the next few days and how you have to watch the incision for infection. Most normal people don’t let their animal lie out in the mud, grass, etc. until they are healed up…something a deer wouldn’t have a choice in.

Sterilization doesn’t work. Proven many times. They even say this won’t work, but they’re gonna spend the money anyway.

Even if sterilization did work, and hunting was banned, then you’d have millions of geriatric deer to take care of. Are these liberal loons also going to buy them all health care?

It’s all so easy when you’re spending someone else’s money.

And they ask me why I drink!