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I wonder how many deer they've locked in there, that won't be able to get out now...and will only cause more problems in the future, especially if we have a couple of each sex in there. I have a copy of an interoffice confidential memo here that was written on the third day of the operation-stating that at least four more deer had been seen. Apparently, only one more deer was killed, and then the operation was apparently ended, I'm sure due to pressure and public opinion of this entire mess...so that leaves at least three more deer in there somewhere?? hmmm...so, will it have to be done again? Probably...

As a journalist, I stayed on the sidelines of this one, but I kept in close contact with a lot of people involved in it. I also talked to a number of people who live right there on Airport Rd., and people who commute back and forth through there every day.

I have no doubt that the deer on the airport, over the past 30 years or so, ever since the airport was built, have caused problems, and something needed to be done. But what I objected to was how this whole thing was presented to the public. It was a public relations disaster.

It was printed in the RE on Monday that the kill was scheduled...after the public uproar that ensued, it was printed a day or so later in the same paper that the airport had agreed to consider other options.

Their mistake was NOT announcing that those options had been considered, but decided against. There was no attempt to explain why the deer couldn't be moved due to state rules regarding TB, etc...they just moved in with the silencers, the lights, and the automatic rifles less than 48 hours later...

The whole thing was very, very poorly handled, and to a lot of people, it smacked of Big Brother, Big Government, Gestapo tactics...and not just the anti-hunters. A number of ardent deer hunters felt the same way.

While the hunt itself was going on, a number of frightened deer, running and jumping all over the place, were pushed off the airport property right into Airport Road at the height of the morning rush hour...for the next three days there were deer all over that area, in the subdivisions, in the road, and undoubtedly, because there was nothing to stop them, back onto the airport property.

Because that has always been, irregardless of development, a very popular area for deer, there's STILL deer running around there just outside of the airport-and they are just as much of a threat there as they were on the airport.

So, has the problem been cured??? I doubt it, very much. I bet we'll be right here again discussing this one in another year or two...the whole thing was sad...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do captive cervid regulations apply to the fenced in area of the airport? How much did the airport pay the state for the deer taken so far? A low flyover combined with snow tracking should be able to account for the rest of the deer. They should owe the state for those deer as well.
 

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No, Tom, only "nuisance" regulations...FAA takes precedence over the state on this, and this was handled by the USDA...with input from the DNR, who is currently taking alot of the flak, when in reality, they really didn't have much to do with it. Nobody got paid for those deer.

Can't remember, but I don't think there was any snow on the ground when they did it.

It's over...and like I said, it's sad...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are correct Linda. I was asking the question for a third party and you confirmed what I wanted to tell him. The snow reference was mine, for the hunting effort from here on out to harvest the remaining deer which should be easier.
 

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But, the deer gotta go.

If I was the manager of the airport ...or the FAA guy in charge...I would have quieried the DNR about the legality of my staff killing them at night .....and once I had the go ahead, would do it immediately.....with bait, silencers, and lights.

I'm a firm believer that urban deer should be greatly restricted, reduced.....and in many cases, eliminated. They are just too wild to be allowed amongst moving vehicles in densely urban areas.....or God forbid amongst commercial aircraft.

By the same light, I am critical of the city of Holland for allowing 'recreational hunters' to address their Windmill Island deer situation. That problem should have been solved with low profile sharpshooters quietly going about the job at night. Problem deer in urban areas are not "recreational" opportunities....they are problems, and you solve such problems promptly and quietly.

"Hunting" deer, as we know it, is for we hobbyist who do it in, if not wildnerness settings, at least in rural areas where we can invest a whole bunch of time, values, and considerations. In contrast, urban deer, problem deer, should not be "hunted", they need to be eliminated quickly before human lives are lost or injured, or property damaged.

There is no room for sentimentality by 'hunters' or by urban 'non-hunters' who think such deer are "pet"-like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can understand fairfax1 position. There needs to be a reality check between deer safety and recreation. The deer themselves are not at fault since from their point of view they are only adapting to habitat and survival.

As for the city Holland hunt. Yes, it was handled in a awkward fashion as a private hunt club for a few connected Holanders. I was raised in a strict Hollander neighborhood and married a Hollander. I'm not allowed to print the local comments from the coffee shops reflecting opon those **** Hollanders. The city Holland is changing fast as it is now being over run by immigrants. The illegals and asians will take a different view of tulips over time.
 

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The same action was taken at Wurtsmith AFB near Oscoda in the early 90's prior to closure. Originally in the early years, someone would drive a jeep down the runway to disperse the deer and seagulls so a/c could land or take-off. Then later sound cannons were tried,but to no avail. Then when terriorism became a threat to AF bases, the entire installation was surrounded by an 8 ft high $5 mil fence topped with barbed or razor wire. This corraled the deer inside, so a decision was made to have them "removed permanently" by firearm. This task fell to a civilian employee on base who worked in the insect & rodent control shop.He accomplished the feat with a few weeks on the nite shift. Hence,no more deer on base to threaten air operations. Traverse City forgot to fence the airfield first.
 

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Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport is fenced. I have been flying airplanes in and out of there since 1985. The deer have always been an issue.

Let me tell you if you think a deer can do damage to a cay, you should see what they can do to an airplane.

I've had my fair share of deer encounters, one just the other night, fortunately for me, I haven't connected with one (that sound you hear is me knocking on wood). The last thing you want to see on a runway as you take off or land at over 100 MPH is a deer. Stopping quick is just not an option.

I am a sportsman and a hunter and I don't agree with killing for the sake of killing, but I have to go with the airport on this one.

Remove the deer as soon and quickly as possible. If it means shooting them then so be it. Take the meat an donate it to the hungry.
 

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Hunt4ever-one just the other night? At TC?

Then I guess that's proof that the operation that created so many problems wasn't so successful, and as I thought, they DID fence deer in...and in a few years, this whole sad situation will happen all over again.

As I said earlier, the deer needed to be removed, but the manner in which it was conducted was less than stellar...and obviously, less then successful.

They did have a fence up at the airport that I understand they took down for construction of the new terminal, and the gates into that area were always open. But even if they'd left the fence up and the gates closed at night, they would still have had problems, because an 8 ft. fence may technically be listed as "deer-proof", but it isn't...why do all the deer farms and ranches have 14 ft. fences?

They have a new fence up now, that as I said earlier, is supposed to stop any more deer from coming in, but if it does, it also stops them from going out...and I think it's the same height as the previous fence, which means it isn't stopping anything at all.
 

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8 ft. is not high enough to keep them in or out. My brother in-law has a 10 foot high fence around their garden in East Tawas, and the deer still jump it. He has video of them doing so.
 

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My deer encounter the other night was in South Carolina. I don't know if there was a fence or not.

Sorry about the confusion.
 

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I think that airport management all over the country, to get rid of their ongoing and constant wildlife problems, especially as cities continue to develop around those airports, are going to have to institute some very major changes in their layouts to eliminate their problems...drastic changes...

Think about it...most airports are built, or were built at one time, on the fringes of the cities or out in the country somewhere. As the cities have grown, and the suburbs and freeways have arrived, the wildlife has been pushed...in many cases, into the only available nearby habitat left-the airport, which usually has unused areas that create wildlife havens...

The only way to really cure this ongoing problem with wildlife on airports, which includes wild turkeys, geese, ducks, sandhill cranes, beavers, and all sorts of critters, is to get rid of the habitat-permanently.

Remove all the trees, bushes, shrubs, grass, water, etc.,. and either pave every inch of it or put a layer of gravel over the entire expanse...

And then the airport will be forced to move, because people in the cities around them will complain about noise and safety issues. :rolleyes:
 

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While the FAA does have jurisdiction over the airport, per se, the deer are still the property of the citizens of Michigan. The Michigan DNR should have had more say in this "culling." I agree that they are a real hazard for airplanes and the hazard should be eliminated. Once they are eliminated, they need to show me how they are going to keep the problem from returning in the future.

I like Linda's idea about eliminating the habitat on the grounds. Either that, or install truly secure fencing.

Dan
 

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As far as the extremely dangerous situations of deer standing on runways with planes full of passangers taking off and landing, I wouldn't object to putting out poisoned corn. To me, this is no longer a wildlife matter. This is something else. One way or another, an airport is no place for a single deer. IMHO. Poisoning would be something I would deem totally acceptable. Deer auto accidents are one thing, where the speed is much slower and the driver has some control of braking and maneuvering. (sp). But a plane coming in or taking off at very high speed, with nowhere to go and no way to stop fast, is another.
 

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but unless they picked up the carcass as soon as it died it would probably also work on eagles, owls, hawks, or any number of airborned raptors that are also drawn to airports. I see all of those species around airports up here all the time-good hunting grounds.
 

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Bird strikes further compound this problem. At Selfridge AFB and Wurtsmith AFB seagulls were a continuous hazard and probably still are. We closed the base dump at both bases and that helped but didn't eliminate seagulls totally. Also,wet runways at nite during migration periods attract waterfowl that confuse the reflected light from the lighted runways for water, and land there creating a hazard. No easy permanent solutions.
 

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Birds eating the dead deer would be a very short term problem. Spray round up on everything and kill the rabbits too so that hawks don't come to prey on them. That would starve the deer out too. My dad's old friend was one of the heads of Metro Airport's security. I believe his name was Phil Jablonski. They used to go and try and shoot all the deer at Metro years ago. Wayne county sheriff dep's used to go in there and try and shoot every one a couple times a year. (I don't know if they still do this) He said that deer standing on runways was one of their greatest fears at Metro. They were afraid a jet engine would suck a deer in and then the plane would crash on takeoff or a plane would hit one on landing. Hey, few people love deer as much as I do, but any deer at any airport need to be exterminated. IMHO. Just imagine yourself or your loved ones on those planes rocketing in and out of there and the decision process is easy.
 
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