Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deer overwhelm Shawnee Mission Park

November 26, 2008


— A suburban Kansas City park is grappling with a whitetail deer population that is so large that it could pose a threat to other wildlife, a fragile ecosystem and the health of around 2 million people who visit the park each year.

Shawnee Mission Park, which spans about 1,280 acres in the state’s most populous county, possibly has the highest deer density in the U.S., a state wildlife official said.

“They’ve got 200 deer per square mile. We don’t have anything anywhere else near that magnitude,” said Lloyd Fox, big-game program coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. “There’s some land owned by KU north of Lawrence with about 33 per square mile. That’s about as close as we come.”

The overabundance is taking its toll on vegetation, forcing the deer to compete for food and clearing the park of wildflowers that once thrived there. It’s also bringing in ticks that can carry diseases, harmful not only to the deer, but also to humans who use the park.


gr 8 years ago

"The overabundance is taking its toll on vegetation, forcing the deer to compete for food and clearing the park of wildflowers that once thrived there. "Deer are causing global warming."It’s also bringing in ticks that can carry diseases, harmful not only to the deer, but also to humans who use the park."Finally, an article that admits it.

50YearResident 8 years ago

It is time to open up the park to controled hunting with bow and arrows. I know at least 3 hunters that would participate.

gr 8 years ago

"evil man killed off all there naturel perditors"waka, so if man caused the problem, then man must correct the problem. Isn't man a "naturel perditor"? No? Then do you offer he was created?

tolawdjk 8 years ago

At my former abode in south Cook Co, IL there were a couple natural parks. Basically land reclaimed in the 60's and replanted with trees and grasses that went along the natural drainages of the area. I would guess that deer population was hitting the 33 per sq mile or maybe bit denser.Some of the saddest, scrawniest deer you could ever see. One winter, while the snow wasn't particularly deep, it was constant all season long. I can remember pulling up to the house at about 9pm and seeing a dozen+ deer on my tiny little lawn.Thin the herd. Take the numbers down to the 10-15 per sq mile area. Keep it there with sustained, seasonal, monitored hunting. Hell, make wildlife and parks or the county equivelent do it and donate the meat to food banks. It don't take much skill to butcher a deer into roast sized chunks and the rest ground into burger with a bit of beef/pork lard.@waka1: You are right, Man is "evil". Make a sign stating such and go stand in the new I-70 roundabout proclaiming it to all.

tolawdjk 8 years ago

madmike:You give waka1 too much credit. There is no way this guy is with it enough to even make it to a PETA meeting, let alone organize with them.He's in the library, taking a crap and possibly, hopefully, attempting to wash off some of the stank.

feeble 8 years ago

This problem isn't new. Deer populations at the park have been out of control for years. I can recall running through the park 12 years ago and seeing (relatively) huge deer herds on the northern edge of the park (near Ogg, for those in the know). This summer, I watched as 7 deer crossed Pflumm between 75th and 87th streets, at 4pm. I am amazed that there have not been more deer-related accidents reported along Renner rd.These herds need to be culled, but I do not think opening up the park to hunters (bow or otherwise) would be a good idea. Let land management staff cull the herds in a controlled way.

feeble 8 years ago

Bad waka, back in your cage! No cookie!I seriously doubt you have any grasp over actual policy decisions the Obama Administration is looking to implement. If you are going to quote policy, get it right:"Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent."

d_prowess 8 years ago

South Cook Co, IL? Bemis Woods and the 60558 represent!

50YearResident 8 years ago

waka1, what do you think make moccisons from, tree bark?

Confrontation 8 years ago

waka1 and his homeless buddies should head to the park and hand feed the deer. Then, we'll have less begging on the streets of Lawrence.

salad 8 years ago

this whole problem could be easily addressed by having the park rangers round up the deer and "accidentally" herd them past the archery range....

KansasPerson 8 years ago

Venison for Thanksgiving dinner.... mmmmm....

BigAl 8 years ago

It is amazing how so many of you are taking Waka serious. He is obviously setting you up.

jonas_opines 8 years ago

What's the over/under on whether waka1 is giving his/her legitimate opinion or simply throwing silliness into the mix?

jonas_opines 8 years ago

Whoa, sorry BigAl, not to steal your thunder.

1029 8 years ago

Interesting that this article acknowledges that many people visit Shawnee Mission Park, goes on to say that the deer population is out of control, but then makes no mention of what people should do when confronted by a deer.I imagine that a lot of people will be visiting the park during the holiday weekend because of the decent weather. Maybe the lj-w should tell people what to if they are confronted by a deer. Should people raise their jackets above their heads to appear larger? Should they run away? Should they slowly back away? Should they play dead?

1029 8 years ago

Nevermind my previous post. Thanks to google, my question has been answered. I'll pass this info on, seeing as the human-hating lj-w feels that it doesn't have an obligation to do so. I did some googling and it appears the best thing to do is play dead. Deer can outrun humans and chances of survival are minimal if a person gets an antler in the back from a deer in full gallop. If you try to back away, the deer may feel disrespected and still attack. And the competitive nature of deer makes it worthless to appear larger because they tend to see killing bigger humans as more of a challenge and it earns them more respect among the other deer in the tribe. If this was Alaska, they would have taken care of this problem long ago. I say let's get some helicopters in there and take care of these antlered m#@%f*&kers.Since helicopter-related solutions are unlikely because democrats control congress, people are going to have to exercise extreme caution if they visit Shawnee Mission Park this winter. Hopefully, spring will come early and usher in the mild temperatures needed to kill off these monsters.

HW 8 years ago

In all seriousness, they should be culled. Then they should be donated to Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry so folks like Waka1 don't starve this winter. Oh wait, he will probably refuse to eat it because it is cruel. Funny how some beggars can be so picky. It's a great organization. If you don't hunt, they always need donations to help pay for the processing and volunteers to help distribute the food.

feeble 8 years ago

1029 (Anonymous) says…Interesting that this article acknowledges that many people visit Shawnee Mission Park, goes on to say that the deer population is out of control, but then makes no mention of what people should do when confronted by a deer.==========================================I've seen many, many deer at that Park, and have personally passed with 20 feet of deer at the park. Generally, they just ignore people (whether on foot, bike or in a car). I think that as long as someone doesn't try to approach, or do something foolish like approach a fawn, the deer will remain passive. This may change as resources become scarce due to over population.@madmike, I'm not terribly interested in debating Obama's gun policy, only stating that waka was, as usual, misrepresenting something, but it looks like you have an interesting argument. Certainly enough for a blog post on this site.I would posit that few folks who are staunch 2nd amendment advocates actually voted for Obama, so I don't think he has much to fear from losing a voting bloc that didn't vote for him in the first place.

KansasPerson 8 years ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says…"3) Wear orange, paint a few stripes on your tail, and assume a mountain lion position."SHOCKWhat kind of website IS this?!?!?!?!If I wanted to see suggestions like this, I'd check that evil Sex Book out of the public library, thank you very much!!!HMPHHH!!!!!!! (flouncing off in a righteous huff)-- KP

KansasPerson 8 years ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) also says…"Oh, let's just hang some jingle bells on them, and discuss this after Christmas."chortleYou're on a roll today. Must be all that fresh air from living out in the boonies! :)

jumpin_catfish 8 years ago

Guns don't kill deer, people do and they taste just like they smell .... delicious! And waka1, what the hell makes you an expert on indians past or present. Take another hit and pass out!

Joe Hyde 8 years ago

I know very little about the terrain at SMP, but if that many deer are believed to live there it means there's plenty of cover. Perhaps JoCo Parks & Rec will consider issuing archery permits in a way that assigns certain tree stands and ground blinds to individual hunters. Something resembling how Cheyenne Bottoms issues permits to waterfowl hunters.By setting up a tree stand/deer blind system that covers the entire park uniformly, the county can bring the deer numbers under control. I think a lot of bowhunters would jump at the chance to participate in this sort of control effort.I haven't hunted deer in a few years so I'm out of touch with which meat markets are available nowadays. But in DeSoto (close to the park) there used to be a place called Steve's Meat Market. Steve's did really good work on processing deer. If Steve's is still there, then all the tagged deer killed at SMP could be taken there (by the permitted hunters) for organized processing (at Johnson County expense) and the meat donated to charity. Or the lucky hunter could pay for the animal's processing cost and keep the meat, whichever.Archery is the way to go in solving this problem. A lot of really good shooters live in our area.

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years ago

I love all God's creatures. Some on a plate with mashed potatoes and gravy.

KansasPerson 8 years ago

Multi (referring to my 1:26 post?) said:"Did you not see when someone posted photos on an old article about mountain lion about a week ago?Looked like my orange cat."Oh I know. I was just being silly, pretending to have misread your line as a Kama Sutra position or something.:)

joco_resident 8 years ago

I'm a resident of Johnson County, and my backyard happens to back up to Shawnee Mission Park. The deer population is a problem. On the personal side, they do go through our backyards and devastate the plants back there. I see deer so frequently, I've become numb to seeing them. It used to be cute at first, but now its gotten to the point that it has a lot of us worried. Personally, I wouldn't mind having the park opened up to bow hunters for a few days to help control the population. It would be a healthier and happier alternative for the deer that are left alive.

gr 8 years ago

"It would be a healthier and happier alternative for the deer that are left alive."Left?Why do you want any left?

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