To the Editor:
I will attend meetings being held by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding the control of chronic wasting disease in the deer population. Every January when we have received our letter warning us of the DNR sharpshooters across the road, I have called to voice my objections to this practice.
I was born and raised in Kingston, and we have always had a large population of deer in the area. We used to take a ride at dusk and see 30 or more deer in a herd grazing.
Now you are lucky if you see two or three at a time. This is not because of chronic wasting disease. This is because of the DNR killing any deer – whether a buck, doe or fawn – that comes to their bait pile. The DNR sets up in early January and stays until March. They leave with trailers full of dead deer. They then test them to see if they were infected.
I believe instead of this indiscriminate slaughter they need to direct their resources toward research, working with and educating the local hunters. The deer the hunters take and those that are hit by cars can provide enough test samples.
I do believe that someday chronic wasting disease will be wiped out. Sadly, so will our deer population because of the DNR shooting all of them.