If you drive around the adjacent woodlands owned by Plum Creek Timber, you can see the significant clear cutting and thinning in many areas and the loss of a lot of natural undergrowth. And therein is found the problem. While I am not a hunter myself, much of the surrounding area is leased to a local hunt club until the decision is made on their land rezoning application. But in the meantime they have been cutting and clearing a lot of timber and it is dramatically impacting local wildlife.
We have an abundance of deer and the annual hunting season (by the way, I don't hunt) has been effective in thinning the herd in past years so that the food supply isn't destroyed with resulting starvation. Now, however, in many places the hiding places are gone, and they are important after the birth of a fawn for the first year when they need protection from predators. More and more show up on my property, and while I love watching them, if they stay in my small stand of woods at night the coyotes quickly figure out where they are, in fact, the coyotes have been very prevalent lately. What happens over time is all of the fawns are killed and the herd gets elderly and dies off. Remember, deer usually stay within a mile or two of where they were born for their entire life.
And here's the kicker, this year's deer season (I assume it is still on schedule) will be nothing more than a crap shoot. The natural hiding places are gone and when the dogs run it will no longer be sport. This isn't hunting; it is akin to what they do in France when they run rabbits down a ravine with "hunters" (I use the term loosely), lining up on each side firing like they are at a penny arcade. If hunters don’t honor the limit as happens at least by a few each year, the deer won’t have a chance.
The deer are welcome to stay in safety on my property but I am sure if the dogs come across it will as usual scare them off. I always thought it funny how if one of my dogs ever gets loose I am in trouble but the hunting dogs can run all over the place, forcing me to lock my dogs up on my own property. And they try to tell me I'm the one against property rights?
And in case you don't know, Plum Creek was fined $57K in Maine for destroying deer habitat a number of years ago. No big deal to a huge corporation; just pay the fine and continue to do what you do. But from my perspective, it certainly makes them suspect in my mind. So even if they don’t “win” the battle to destroy our fragile land, it looks like another glorious creature in God’s creation will likely become just a memory in the future. And "Old Florida" will only be used for an attraction at some gawdy theme park.
How sad it is that man so violates his responsibility for proper dominion over all living things. We truly have forgotten so much of what is beautiful here in America. I guess when we’re all living in glass bubbles in cookie cutter high rise steel and concrete monstrosities called urban clusters some of us might wonder what happened. Then again, most of us by then probably won’t even care because overcrowding turns us into numbers instead of caring people. We might even be already gone since the water will probably run out. And to think they call it progress.