Deer Culling Concerns

I live on the west end of Molokai and spend a lot of time walking the roads and through the thorny groves of the kiawe and lantana. I am concerned because of the increased demand for Axis deer culling in our area. The Axis deer population on the west end has been extensively culled by starvation already.

There are no longer the vast herds of mature animals, and in my humble opinion, the total population has been reduced by over 70 percent! Currently I only see small groups of skinny yearlings and the rare mature doe or even rarer buck. A year ago, I counted hundreds in a day. Axis deer provide a clean, healthy, and sustainable source of quality protein for this island. Please do not make a foolish mistake by killing this “goose that lays the golden egg.” The West End axis deer population has been culled enough.

A wise idea might be to consider letting the herd rebuild, then manage it using the sensible principles of ethical wildlife management.

One last note, yes, like many others my property was invaded by the starving deer, and my gardens eaten, but we need to learn to live with our wild brothers. Man is fast becoming the master of his own creation and things are not getting any better.

Leon Barnett
Papohaku Ranchlands