They’re at it again, this time losing a lawsuit aimed at eliminating the use of crossbows for trimming Montgomery County, Maryland’s ever-expanding deer herd.
Currently operating between 67-84 deer per square mile according to a 2014 study, Montgomery County’s deer population is eclipsing healthy levels. As in many cases such as this one, state-level sharpshooters are brought in to help manage the herd, usually in the winter months.
Determining it to be much too dangerous to discharge firearms in areas heavily populated with humans, the state allows the deer to be taken with bows, including crossbows.
To the dismay of many (hint: sarcasm), the good natured, but completely ignorant folks at PETA, complete with their one-sided agenda, filed a lawsuit against the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in an effort to halt the plan.
Citing unnecessary cruelty, PETA member Eileen Cohhn believes that crossbows do not effectively kill deer. Instead, remain under the false belief that a well-shot deer with a crossbow will only be left to suffer for days on end before succumbing to their injuries.
To the dismay of the animal evangelists, a judge ruled that the county’s program to reduce the deer population using bowhunting does not, in fact, violate Maryland’s cruelty code.
Bill Hamilton, principal natural resources specialist for Montgomery Parks, says through public comment, the majority of resident support the hunts.
“We have determined archery managed hunts are a safe, lawful and effective way to address these requests in areas where firearms would create a greater risk,” Hamilton said.
He quickly went on to recognize the emotional issues surrounding the killing of wild animals.
“We respect the opinions of all organizations and individuals, and recognize the issue of deer management is one that many people are passionate about,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PETA camp also released this statement from their attorney Jeffrey Kerr:
“Although the judge agreed that slaughtering deer with high-powered crossbows is not ‘the most humane method reasonably available’ to kill deer, he has allowed the county’s cruel program to continue, leaving more Montgomery County deer to endure slow, agonizing deaths from steel arrows that tear through their flesh and rarely kill them outright.”
In a not-so surprising move, Kerr indicated that Cohhn is likely to file an appeal.
“The county should live and let live, not kill and tear deer families apart,” Kerr’s statement said.