Area Drivers Hunt for Solutions to Summertime Urban Deer Problem
By Leslie Carp
Published June 3rd, 2016
Urban Deer spotted crossing Hoosick Street in Troy.
TROY — Patsy Peters had to swerve to avoid a woman pushing a stroller at Hoosick and 10th Street this morning — narrowly avoiding the potential for thousands of dollars in damage to her white 2016 Honda CR-V.
Peters, 32, commutes from Brunswick to downtown Albany every day, and must pass through Troy on her way. Troy has a notoriously high population of “urban deer,” a colloquial term for city dwellers who walk and ride bicycles in the roadway, instead of driving.
“It can get pretty scary in the summer,” Peters said. “They get pretty fearless when the weather gets nice, and some of them think they can challenge drivers. A few of my girlfriends in The Real Shallow Republican Housewives of the Capital District have even had baby urban deer jump right in front of their SUVs.”
Urban deer pose a significant risk to cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs in the Capital Region’s cities. There are an estimated 50,000 urban deer that congregate in downtown areas in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, and are known for committing egregious offenses against drivers, such as crossing the street when the red hand is blinking, or worse – not waiting for three or four cars to run the red light before starting to cross.
Trap, neuter and release programs have been highly successful in reducing feral dog and cat populations. Similar moves have been proposed to curb urban deer population growth, but taxpayers in the Capital Region’s budget-strapped cities are less than enthusiastic about having to front the bill.
Donald J. Shirochikara, Imperial Warlock of the Rensselaer County Gun Nuts Club, believes open hunting season on urban deer would be a more appropriate solution for drivers who would rather not have to look up from their phones to check for pedestrians before plowing through stop signs and red lights.
“The cities should strongly consider allowing law-abiding citizens to hunt urban deer the way we hunt Bambi,” said Shirochikara, whose plan would grant hunting permits to US born drivers age 16 and older who have no history of vegetarianism or Green Party membership. “In addition to being an exercise in Second Amendment rights, maybe urban deer hunting would send these folks a message that maybe they should just drive cars like regular god-fearin' Americans.”