Back when I wrote my early drafts of CUTE EATS CUTE, my writing coach at the time said, “You better get this out fast. This issue is probably going away soon.” In the months and years that followed, I have only seen the issue of “too many deer” increase its profile in the media. In other words: it ain’t going away.
But the real issue of my book is not just “the deer problem” but growing up in a world of highly opinionated (ahem, boomers) while trying to find your way. In the story, Sam’s parents span the entire spectrum of philosophy and politics making it tough for him to find a path not already overcrowded. While his mother is “anti deer hunt” she represents a more “spiritual” view of nature that isn’t necessarily what Sam’s peers relate to. On the other hand, while his father is “pro deer hunt” using the conservationist/hunter argument, he seems better informed on the problems associated with too many deer.
Then real world problems range from the more serious: collisions (often fatal to both) with humans in vehicles, outbreaks of lyme disease, irreparable damage to forests on the ecosystems of other animals, to the merely irritating—deer munching on our exotic plants. Since we have created a new ecosystem where the deer thrive with minor predation (cars and hunters) there is the issue of herd’s health. When there are too many deer they can starve in winter among other unpleasant outcomes.
One of the themes discussed in CUTE EATS CUTE is deer contraception. The issue remains pretty much where it was when I wrote the book. Anti-hunting groups it as a scientific and humane solution, but so far there isn’t an effective contraception method that is practical (and cost effective) in the field.
But I thought I’d take a moment to link to some of the most recent media flags about this problem and how it’s not going away.
Video about too many deer in rural Jpaan: