Where have all the deer gone?

Where have all the deer gone?

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Having spent most of my life in Napa County, I am appalled at seeing the rate of disappearance of our wildlife. I worked as a cattleman on the Soscol area land for 30 years and the Soscol deer population, which used to have more than 200 doe in it, has maybe 10 left.

The mountain lions are being blamed for this decrease as they have been seen eating livestock, dogs, and cats and are starting to live closer to civilization. I do not think that is the biggest reason. California Fish and Game issues two deer tags to each hunter who pays for an expensive license.

They also give farmers the right to protect their crops by any means possible, which means they can kill deer on their land any time. I feel this is done politically.

As Napa farming grew, Napa officials proclaimed every planting was to be deer-fenced. That would cost a lot of money for the farmers. I have not seen this happening uniformly, and I think the deer have been wiped out because of this.

For more than 75 years, Napa hunting clubs have focused on protecting the wildlife (pheasants, doves, deer, rabbits, turkeys, quail, Napa River fish, etc.). Now we have a silent spring in our area. They are almost all gone.

Why is Fish and Game taking money for deer licenses when there isn’t anything left to shoot? Is it too late to do anything? Are we near shooting the last Bambi?

Bill Bishop, Sr. / Napa

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