Many of us might not be aware of how the deer hunting has been commercialized and how it is supporting the growing fashion industries. It supplies leathers for branded footwears. This can be noticed by the financial picture of the country. But the good management of the deer herds has improved their numbers compared to their numbers during the times of Indians.
The sport of deer hunting has been commercialized to a great extent. This is true of many sports. Deer hunters help support many of our industries and their dollars play an important part in the financial picture of our country. Clothing manufacturers have developed special clothing and shoe factories make special footwear for hunters. Arms and ammunition factories would need to curtail production drastically between wars it was not for the sportsmen's orders.
The development of better hunting guns has aided in the development of better military guns. Sporting camps dot the hunting country and are largely supported by the deer hunter's dollars. The states themselves have placed a price tag on deer in the form of a hunting license. This tax is supposed to defray the cost of game management. On the whole the different states have done a good job in managing the deer herds and these herds are today in better condition than at any other time since the Indians. What the future holds is something that only time will tell.
At the present time we have an abundance of deer in the major hunting areas. The only serious threat to their well being is that overpopulation might bring on some disease or that lack of food might cause a serious reduction of the herds. All things in nature must balance and if the deer population becomes too large, nature will call a halt in one way or another. It is up to the states to see that this natural balance is maintained and the herds are kept within their natural limits.
The only way to do this, now that most of their natural enemies have been controlled, is to permit an annual kill that will equal the annual increase. In their efforts to protect the deer herds, the different states have enacted different laws, but these laws are similar in that they all permit a short open season and they impose a definite bag limit. Some of these restrictions were adopted on an experimental basis and have never been revised. Some of these have proved sound while others are of doubtful value, due in part to the lack of definite biological knowledge of the animals.
I have always been doubtful of the value of the so-called "buck law" that has been used by several states over the years. Here in Maine, we allow the taking of one deer of any size or sex and our herd has prospered. In at least one other state, the herd has increased, apparently at the expense of the individual deer's size and vitality. Most of these laws are in the interest of conservation and sportsmanship. The least sporting methods of deer hunting are usually banned by law, not entirely because they are not sporting, but because they are the most successful and therefore the most detrimental to the efforts of maintaining the deer population and to continue hunting.
Night hunting, probably the most successful method of taking deer, was one of the first to be banned. My first experience with this type of hunting occurred when I was sixteen. I was working on a small construction project in the deep woods of one of the more popular deer hunting regions. I do not know what the law was at that time, but it was the custom to supplement the commissary with deer meat whenever possible.
It is the duty of every citizen to protect this precious animal from extinctions by keeping them in check. If we keep them growing overpopulated, they could create another problem and if they are decreased they are a great source of income assets for the country