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.
I also live in the west. It was heartbreaking to see the deer dying, one day 10 died on a 15 acre site. Some neighbors put out water, apples carrots and rice, or sweet-feed. Other neighbors put up fences and chased deer away.
I am concerned that 2 butterflies had left eggs on plants which were eaten down to the soil. The long-tailed blue left eggs on weidelia, I see zero here now but did see them east of Kaunakakai. The lesser grass blue left eggs in the grassy areas, I have seen zero here, but see them 10+ miles east of here.
How many deer are too many in a normal year?
How should we handle the loss of butterflies here?
I share photos of butterflies freely.