Sharpshooters and Deer - How Much Does it Cost the American Taxpayer

Posted by: Mike Willand
Jul 2011

With the debt-ceiling of our federal government looming, the staff and I at the Hunting Network have decided to dig a little deeper into the fiscal irresponsibility of our law-makers and the whitetail deer population. While it took them nearly a month to save Americans 358 million in April, we just saved half of that in 20 minutes – no we’re not running for election.

The use of sharpshooters to reduce exploding deer populations in small areas (typically urban) is nothing new. However, we’re going to crunch some numbers and show you just how much it’s costing YOU – Mr. Taxpayer.

The figures below represent not just the cost of shooting one deer, but also include administration fees, legal paperwork, police overtime, and the cost to process meat.

The town of Greenwich, Connecticut, has to deal with high populations of deer nearly every year. In 2005, a sharpshooter cull there cost its taxpayers $40,000 and wiped out approximately 80 deer over four days. That’s $500 per deer!

The National Park Service at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, refuses to utilize deer hunters to help control the escalating deer numbers there. Sharpshooting deer in this historic relic is expected to cost the taxpayers $112,363 to $176,817 annually! This is only one of 394 National parks in the country, encompassing 83 million acres of land.

deer in valley forge park

Does feed on acorns at Valley Forge National Park. 

Wait, as we’ve saved our best example of fiscal irresponsibility for last.

In Solon, Ohio, with a human population hovering around 22,000, the town spent $782,925 from 2005 to 2009 hiring sharpshooters to help reduce deer numbers. The cost was over $400 per deer! What’s more, their local school district is currently facing a financial crisis. Wouldn’t it have been more logical to put this money there instead?

If 500,000 whitetail deer are taken by sharpshooters in the U.S. every year, at an average cost of $300 per deer taken, the American taxpayers spend $150,000,000 annually on a population control method that excludes the deer hunting public. A public, we should remind our elected officials, that is willing to pay them (whether through money or volunteerism) to help reduce these same deer numbers.

In the short time it took you to read the above facts, the Hunting Network just saved 150,000,000 of your taxpaying dollars. No need to thank us really – we just ask that you get involved in your local governments and speak on behalf of the hunters in your area. Let’s stop the madness of spending what we don’t have. Hunters will hunt for free!

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