PATRICK RICHARDS: Offers suggestions for city deer cull


I am writing regarding the deer situation in the City of Manistee. I have personally suffered thousands of dollars’ worth of damage at the hands of these magnificent creatures. I have also spent hundreds of dollars on erecting physical barriers to stem the damage. I also responsibly hunt every season to try and recoup some of my losses and enjoy the bounty of Mother Nature while maintaining a balance. That is just common sense.

The ongoing saga of the over-populated deer herd in Manistee would rival the funniest “Keystone Cops” episode.

Here’s a plan, and sorry if this is hard to follow, it IS based on common sense. I am sure that there would be no shortage of people that would volunteer to cull deer who live within the county. They could prove their proficiency with a bow/crossbow and/or rifle to the local peace officers. Have a team of three persons (one being a peace officer to ensure that laws are upheld) two of which are spotters to ensure a safe shot depending on the type of tool used to cull in the appropriate area. Do this a couple of times a week. The only cost is the peace officer’s salary.

What to do Kthe deer? Offer them to the volunteers or sell them to the public for a minimal cost. I am sure there would be no shortage of people in the county who would gladly take a deer or two and either process them themselves or be glad to pay the cost of processing them. Make it a requirement to donate a certain percentage to local food banks. (There are numerous ways this can be done.) The end result may actually be that the city may make a buck or two while being a responsible steward of the land.

I can hear the yelling about the insurance issue. But my letter is about common sense and betting on the occurrence of a tragic event with multi-million and multi-billion dollar bookies has absolutely nothing to do with common sense. I didn’t even realize that cities had to carry insurance. Property owners have to carry insurance, business owners have to carry insurance and the government has to carry insurance? Between taxes and insurance costs, it’s a wonder anyone can afford to buy groceries.

Go ahead and call me a simpleton who just doesn’t understand, that it is not that simple. I will respond that life is only as complicated as we make it, and we have made it so complicated that we are now faced with a tragically comic existence.

I choose to live my life by common sense and decency; I know this makes me an outlaw. Whether common sense is a felony or misdemeanor, I am not sure but I’m sure the local, state or federal law enforcement agencies will be knocking at my door soon to let me know after this letter.

Patrick Richards

Bear Lake

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