Maybe the deer need vasectomies
This week I am going to do something in this column I have never done before.
Reveal a secret.
You may recall that a month ago the Register ran its rather infamous April Fools Day story exactly 50 years after the first one ran in the Blue Earth Post.
In homage to that first story back in 1968, I created a similar story about an odd crop coming to Faribault County.
That story was not the original one planned. And now I am going to reveal that secret first story idea.
The idea for the story was that a veterinarian or two was going to be hired by the City of Blue Earth to find the buck deer and shoot them with a tranquilizer dart, and then give them a vasectomy while they were out cold.
Instead of hunting them and killing them, giving them a vasectomy would be much more humane, and eventually, with all the male deer shooting blanks (pardon the pun), the herd numbers would drop dramatically. Or, so the theory goes, according to a presentation that was made to the City Council.
Only, not really. There was no presentation. There was no vasectomy plan. It would have been the typical made up story that we run every April 1 to try and fool our readers.
You are probably thinking to yourself right now that you would have spotted a deer vasectomies going to happen in Blue Earth as a fake news story a mile away.
Well, now as it turns out, that story would not have been so fake.
While the city of Blue Earth has no plans at the moment to conduct a deer vasectomy, another city has actually done it.
And, I dare you to try and guess which city. Wrong, it is actually New York City.
I kid you not. Specifically it is Staten Island in New York. It seems the whitetail deer population on the island has exploded in the past nine years, increasing by 9,000 percent.
So three years ago the New York City borough started the deer vasectomy program, which now is $300,000 over budget. And, they have no idea if it is actually working or not.
In 2016, the first year of the contract, $2.3 million was spent on the project, which had a total budget of $3.3 million. They maxed out in the second year of the contract, so this year everything that is being spent is all over budget.
So far, the figures are that 1,154 deer have been given a vasectomy out of the estimated 1,918 to 2,188 deer that make up the current Staten Island deer population.
What impact on the deer population this has had is still not determined. But a spokesperson for the boroughs says they knew from the beginning that it would take a while for it to have an effect.
Interestingly enough, Staten Island, just like Blue Earth did, discussed having an urban deer cull, which would have involved New York City Police Department sharpshooters, or hunters, but they didn’t move forward with the idea.
It seems they felt since hunting is illegal in all five boroughs of New York City it would be both a costly and illegal liability to the city.
So now here is the issue.
Maybe this deal of giving deer vasectomies is not such a dumb idea after all.
I mean, if it is good enough for New York City, then it is certainly good enough for us out here in small town Minnesota.
Perhaps the Blue Earth City Council needs to rethink this deer issue, since this possible new solution might have merit.
Besides, I would certainly think that our costs for deer vasectomies must be way, way cheaper that New York City prices. I mean, I have heard you can’t rent a tiny one bedroom apartment for under $5,000 a month. Or get a beer for under $10.
So, let us at least think about this before we just dismiss it out of hand as the dumbest thing we have ever heard.
Something really needs to be done. After all the snow finally left my yard on Main Street in Blue Earth, there were enough small round brown pellets left by the deer who munched all my bushes, that you can hardly walk around anywhere in my yard.
The good news, I suppose, might be that I probably don’t have to fertilize my lawn this year, since the deer herd did it for me.
So, here is to another April Fools Day story idea that cannot be written, because it is not fake, but actually real.
Like Preparation-H coming to little Kiester, Minnesota to film a hemorrhoid TV commercial. The greatest fake April Fools Day story of all time except it wasn’t, it was all totally true.
And you thought coming up with fake news ideas was easy to do…