The National Park Service has unveiled a $1.8 million plan to harvest 2,800 deer from D.C.-area Civil War Battlefields. Public hunting is not allowed on these Park Service grounds, thus the deer population has spiraled wildly out of control. Ideal deer per square mile measurements hover around 25-30 animals per square mile. On these government-controlled areas, that number has reached as much as 200 animals per square mile.
In a time when the Federal and several State governments have imposed more restrictions on hunting and firearm use/ownership than at any other time in our history, a plan has been revealed to spend over one million dollars of taxpayer money to hire sharpshooters to take the place of hunters. The federal government has seen fit to limit access to public land for hunters and is now seeing the effects of those restrictions.
While the chance to see the sunrise from a deerstand over a battlefield where our country was forged is without a doubt a dream come true, it is completely understandable to limit public hunting access on such sacred ground. However, for the government to use taxpayer money to counter the effects of that very government's restrictions is, sadly, representative of the current state of affairs for our hunting heritage. A well regulated lottery system to allow youth hunters to take a deer on a historically significant site would just make too much sense, apparently.