Big Deer Hunt Scheduled For Howard County

ELLICOTT CITY (WJZ)—Next week, sharpshooters will be in the woods in Ellicott City to reduce an overpopulation of deer.

Some homeowners tell Suzanne Collins they’re adamantly opposed to that plan.   

Some Ellicott City homeowners are posting pink signs in the wooded area where they live that say “Valentine’s Day Deer Massacre.”

“They don’t need to do it right now, and they don’t need to do it this close to all the residents,” said Brenda Gaigler. “If they didn’t build so much in Howard County, the deer would have some place to go.”

On Monday in this forested area, the local government will send out sharpshooters to kill deer to reduce their population.

“There’s ice on the ground right now,” said Ken Gaigler.  “I don’t care how great a marksman you are, all it takes is one slip. A bullet can hit that ice and come right into my house.”

Howard County Parks and Recreation counted deer with thermoimaging and say there’s 12  times the desirable number. The sharpshooters are state-certified.

“They are established in very specific shooting locations,” said John Byrd, Recreation and Parks.“They have a zone of fire they’re required to maintain strict safety measures all around for the program.”

Howard County Parks and Recreation says the overpopulation of deer will create a lack of vegetation from the ground to about 5 feet high and say that could create a danger to the survival of other wildlife. They add there is risk to foxes, birds and other animals, and if the vegetation goes, invasive plants can move in.

But one opponent believes the hunt is on after newcomers complained about deer damage.

“They have moved here into nature,” said Helen Baratny. “They like nature but they don’t like the reality of nature, and that is that deer live here, and they will come and eat their shrubs.”

The hunt will be done from around 3 p.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. Monday. The county says it will be monitoring the periphery to be sure people don’t wander in the woods.

Another shoot is scheduled on March 10 in the same wooded area.

  • Joe G. Landeros

    Move Them. Dont kill the Deer.

    • Deerslayer

      I’ve dragged them out of the woods, they are not that easy to move…

    • Deerslayer

      Great point Amy – people don’t realize that MD has a feed the hungry program using harvested deer. All the people who think hunting is inhumane – go visit a slaughter house where the animals have zero chance of survival – I respect people who kill their own food and don’t have someone else kill it for them so they can buy it in a grocery store and pretend it was never alive to begin with…

      • Jack

        Ellicott City is literally next to a 16,043 acre park called PATAPSO VALLEY STATE PARK. Ever heard of it? If you don’t like deer- then move away from the park and into the city and GET LOST! If you have some sick addiction to killing innocent animals in their natural habitat- then become a hunter! But just be sure to stay out of my back yard! Because I don’t appreciate ‘nature haters’ killing off my favorite neighbors- the deer.

  • icare

    Why do we always have to resort to violence?? Ever hear of deer contraception? Deer aren’t the issue here. I think the deer in all cases are used as scapegoats to justify the need for a hunt while the real issue is that the human population needs to be controlled. |

    • Dustin

      Nobody wants to face the fact that people are the real problem, not the deer or the hunters who kill them. People have built too much and have destroyed nature- and now the deer have nowhere to go, and are forced into our gardens and roads and properties. Is this what we call, “Going Green”? Well, if by ‘Going Green’ you mean that Howard County is making a ton of cash by selling it’s wooded areas to greedy real estate investors- then yes, Howard County is ‘going green’. But I assure you, that the deer and the rest of nature is Going- to die. If it’s not killed by the hunters, it’ll be by the tractors and construction workers. Goodbye nature, nice knowing you!

  • Amy

    Kill the deer and give the meat to homeless shelters all over Maryland. Two problems solved!!

    • icare

      I am having trouble understanding how a woman could care less about the suffering of animals? Where is your compassion?

      • femalehunter

        I’m having trouble understanding how you can think just because Amy is a woman she cares more about animals than people. Where is your compassion? You are willing to let deer suffer over population and starvation just because you dont think its right? Harvested deer meat is donated to homeless shelters throughout Maryland, try having a little compassion for your fellow humans!

    • Sparrows Point Deer Hunter

      I agree 100%

    • Bill

      How about, don’t live in a wooded area if you don’t like nature?

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  • Walt

    icare ever hit one with your car..Try it if you live you’ll understand why..I have hit one and a friend has hit 2..I had a van he had a truck might have been different if we drove a little car..Deer meats better for you anyway..Amy’s right,and they dont suffer when shot with a high powered rifle and hit right..What if we raised deer instead of cows..Then we would be wrong shoting cows…GOTTA EAT…

    • icare

      No, I have not..(knocks on wood). I am always looking for animals when I drive. I know some accidents can’t be prevented but it helps if you’re aware that they are around, especially at night. Proud to say I’ve never had deer meat. Yes, if you kill them instantly is always best but what is the % for this? BTW, I haven’t had meat in 13 years and I’m still going strong. I’m living proof that you don’t need meat.

      • tylerjake

        who cares about you icare?! In your world, everyone should do as you do! That’s not how a free society works! Maybe you should instead concern yourself with the people that are hunted and massacred in B’more everyday and leave the deer to the other hunters!

  • Zac

    Animals are on this earth to be eaten or work. We need to realize this. Letting them overpopulate means they will not have enough food and starve to death. So your compassion is causing them a slower death. They would normally have natural preditors but our communities don’t like animlas that kill so we got rid of them. Now you have to be nature for the dear.

    • Red Lobster

      Then why does the cholesterol in them plug up our arteries and kill us? Meat eating animals do not suffer from the effects of cholesterol because they were meant to eat meat. If we humans were meant to eat meat, why would cholesterol (that is only found in products from animals) make us sick and kill us? Simple logic!

      The deer are suffering because we have eliminated many of their habitats and also the animals that normally prey on deer because they were hunted until their numbers are now not sufficient to control the deer population. Nature does very well taking care of this planet, Man does not.

      To say an animals does not suffer when hit by a hunter’s bullet or arrow that does not immediately kill them is wrong. Even the best of marksmen does not hit the bullseye all the time and many animals are struck and only wounded, to limp off and perhaps suffer for days or even weeks before they die. If you do not believe me, please let me put a bullet or arrow through your leg and then get back to me in a week or two.

      Most people hunt because they somehow think it is a “sport” and they enjoy killing. They may eat the meat and have the poor animal’s head stuffed and put it above to mantle to let everyone know that are an a@@hole hunter, but they did not shoot it because they were hungry, they shot it because it was “fun”. 91% or hunters are male and 96% are White (source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) – Humm, what does that tell you? Hunting is on the decline, I hope it is soon illegal, although I would not be opposed to creating a preserve where hunters could hunt pedophiles, rapists, drug dealers, gang bangers, etc. and each other until they are all extinct. They could put it right next to the huge lot where drunk drivers try to hit and kill one another.

    • icare

      You may be right but just because it has been this way for eons doesn’t mean you have to go along with it. In most cases where animals and people collide, a violent method is mostly used to solve the problem which is not right. Co-existing is possible but people have to have their minds in the right place.

      Deer contraception is a humane method to deal with this problem.

      • idont

        So you are willing to risk human safety to inject deer with a contraceptive? You may want to watch an episode or two of “when nature attacks” before you recommend people risking their lives. They’re not all bambi’s, they attack when they feel threatened and should not be taken lightly

    • OldEllicott

      Animals are to be eaten or work? Why because some FICTION novel written by MAN tells you that? God didn’t write the Bible. 2000 years ago environmental concerns were a little different than they are now. They are only overpopulated because all of their habitat is being destoryed…

    • John

      Who is to say that there is an overpopulation of deer? I live in a wooded area, with plentiful deer- and the deer are not a problem. People seem to hate nature these days, kill it every chance they get- for no reason at all. If you don’t like deer, don’t live in a wooded area. If you like hunting deer for food- become a hunter. But please don’t hunt in my back yard!

  • imo

    There already is a hunting area less than 1/2 mile from the area the are going to hunt. It was said to the neighbors that they are doing this just to please the community. I know there will be critics but I would love to bring their natural predators back. But fluffy and fufu would have to think before going outside.

    • OldEllicott

      Exactly… The hunting area on College ave that now has its own PARKING AREA!!! And your last sentence sums up the whole problem with everyone today…Someone would have to THINK before going outside…!

      • imo

        Thank you! Us humans can only think about ourselves. And they have a picnic table now I see. But that is the whole point, there is already hunting in a safer area on joining streets, but the county guy says ‘they stay in the same area and don’t go over to the hunting area’ What do they walk in circles all day? Deer are consistanly moving how can they not be going over there?

  • Jamie Brown

    Deer meat is healthier then Beef. Also if you saw the Slaughter houses for pig and cattle you would be more upset than an experienced hunter taking a precise shot. I thank God for allowing me to be able to provide meat for my family.

    • Red Lobster

      And God thanks you by creating cholesterol to clog up your arteries and kill you.

      Humm, wasn’t it God that said “Thou shalt not kill”???

      Is everyone out there hunting experioenced and a precise shot? Can’t anyone old enough buy a hunting license?

      • Tree-hugger

        God did not say that in reference to animals.

  • imo

    Deer meat is actually very high in cholestrol. Jamie you are definitely right about the slaughter houses. I would rather eat an animal that has been hunted than a factory farmed animal.

    • guardog

      deer meat is very low in cholestrol

      • imo

        doctor gave me a list of foods to stay away from because of cholestrol, venison was high on the list. I will believe my doctor over you.

  • killemall

    How can I sign up for this job??????

    • wehunt

      I want in on this to where do we sign up

  • wehunt

    I hope there not paying them I know 20 people will do it for free and can do it with a bow

  • Stickbender

    This is so laughable! Imo, check your facts about that cholesterol thing. You are wrong! Red Lobster, I’m proud to be an a@@hole hunter. Hunting has been handed down for several generations in my family. I’m 65, and I hope I can hunt for many more years. My dad is 87, and he got his gun out for deer season again this year. Go dad! I’m sorry I only harvested four deer this year, because my freezer is not full. By the way Red Lobster, I’d bet my last dollar that you don’t eat you blue crabs or lobster raw. Imo, for your information, there are natural predators in your area. Coyotes, foxes, and bobcats prey on fawns and injured animals. However, they also like little doggies and kitties, as you pointed out. Joe, you may move them out, but they’ll be back tomorrow. Are you going to pay for that 10 foot high fence? That would be about as cost effective as contraception. I’d like to join wehunt with my friends. Why should the “professionals” have all of the fun?

  • Jonathan Hinson

    Hi, I was just wondering what will happen to all the deer that are harvested?

    • Dave

      Uh, you harvest wheat… these deer are being slaughtered by this “shoot”. It seems they have no plan to deal with the deer that are only maimed and not killed by the “sharpshooters” who do miss sometimes and we can only pray they do not slip up, as someone pointed out and shoot into a nearby home.

      You don’t like deer, live downtown. Nature maintained animal populations just fine until man started messing with them. When does open season on redneck hunters start?

      • OldEllicott

        I’m with you Dave…

      • Educated

        You also harvest deer meat. I love that you said “it seems they have no plan…”, it “seems” that way because you dont know what you’re talking about! What evidence backs your statement “Nature maintained animal populations just fine until man started messing with them”? Have you ever heard of Hunters For The Hungry? Open up that little mind of yours and learn something, I promise it wont kill you!

      • imo

        hey I know rednecks that are opposed to bait and kill :) really, I am a bit red myself! it is the soccermom suburbaknights that are upset about their shrubs. That is the reason, they complained during the blizzard last year, that came directly from the county hunt planner himself.

    • imo

      the sharpshooter that hired himself out for the hunt will take the meat back to his church’s freezer, that is what I heard anyway

  • Red Lobster

    I am a vegetarian. The name came because I have a medical problem that causes my face to be flushed most of the time and I look like I have a bad sunburn…red as a lobster.

    Just because your ancestors did something does not make it right or necessary. You put your deer meat in a freezer??? OMG!!! Your great great grandfather did not have a freezer, did he? Why aren’t you preserving your deer meat like your ancestors did? So, you still go out and kill deer for fun like the ancestors but you use a freezer to keep it in? Do you drive to hunt and haul the carcass back? What? Cars are not traditional! Some traditions need to die, we have supermarkets where there are plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains to eat; there is no longer a need for people to eat meat.

    You are correct about venison having less cholesterol than beef, but both are unhealthy foods containing large amouts of bad cholesterol.

    I wonder if there are fewer predators to keep the deer population naturally controlled because a@@hole hunters kill them???? Since any Billy Bubba can toss back a six pack, grab his rifle,get in his pick ’em up truck and go huntin’, we can only hope some of them shoot one another. Better start diggin’ a hole in the back yard because your ancestors didn’t have indoor plumbing! ROTFLOL

    • tylerjake

      Spoken like a true Communist, says the RED Lobster…perhaps red is to symbolize his true communist beliefs?

    • Meateater

      There are pretty hefty fines for drinking while hunting, you may want to do your homework before you run your mouth. And another area you are wrong is that people dont need to eat meat, false. I am severely anemic and was told by my doctor only red meat would give me the iron I needed for my body to function properly. Believe what you want, dont tell others they are wrong because they disagree!

  • Stickbender

    Red Lobster, We are really lucky that we live in a nation where one can have preconceived notions about someone or a group, and people don’t get upset about it. Sorry about your medical condition. My face is red most of the time also, because I inherited it from my mother’s Dutch father who just happened to be a hunter. You picture hunters as a bunch of alcoholic, ignorant fools. Some are. Maybe you’ve been watching too much TV. I happen to have 60 hours beyond my Masters Degree, and ALL of the people, male and female, that I hunt with have college degrees. By the way, how did my ancestors preserve their meat? I really don’t know, except for what my grandparents taught my parents. I do know that my grandfather had an ice house. Also did you forget that indoor plumbing has been around since ancient Roman times? Oh well, you eat what you want, and so will I! Keep smiling. It makes people wonder what you’re up to. Maybe that’s where the preconceived notions come from!
    PS I’m not a hunter. I’m a Wildlife Population Control Specialist!

  • imo

    Fact: hunting also increases the poplulation. does will have twins and triplets now instead of a single fawn
    I am not against hunting for food, just stating a fact about population.

  • Diane

    You all sound so pathetic. The hunters sound like killers and the vegetarians sound like a bunch of hippies. Bottom line is we live in money hungry county who wants to tear down trees and get riid of precious land to build houses only for them to eventually go into foreclosure because the greedy people who buy them really can’t afford them!!! So now the poor animals don’t have enough land to live on so they are going to be killed!!!! Thats is so sad!

    • imo

      Exactly, the county strips the land of any vegation before they start building, then plant a row of yearling trees and puts up signs “Forest Restoration Area” what a joke.

  • harrythe hammer

    Deer bring Lyme disease that kills & maims people. Ever think of that ?

    • imo

      Deer are not the only animal carrying lyme disease, do away with them all?

    • Nightowl

      Deer don’t cause Lyme disease, ticks do. Deer ticks prey on many animals, including dogs, cats and people.


    I agree,they should not do that around populated area,if they did not tear down so much these creatures would have a place to go,They should try to get thwm to go to hight ground,there are to many people to,but we do not get a sharp shooter to kill them,well maybe some of them.We should try to protect these animals,Why would you not want deer in your back yard,I have them and feed them and they leave

  • Hillbilly Willy

    MMMM I like dear meet? I eat it all da time and aint nottin wrong wit me!

  • Ronald G Miner Jr

    I love the ignorance of some people. Move them, sterilize them, leave them alone…When they become over populated they become dangerous. They carry lyme disease, they run out in front of cars, they destroy vegetable crops and they become a nuisance. I see the PETA people are here in force…Get over it, the deer need to be thinned out for their own good.

    • OldEllicott

      Prove it. 12x the nominal population? What is the nominal population? Probably 1 deer per XX acres… So they constantly open new land to development and that XX acre number decreases and decreases. The problem is NOT deer population but over-development.

  • OldEllicott

    How many of these posters actually live in the area? I live in Old Ellicott City and drive Bonnie Branch Rd and College Avenue every day. I don’t think there are too many deer and would prefer to see more. I’m tired of watching Howard County allow developers come in and use up evey available acre just to increase tax revenue. Maybe if they would leave the woods alone these animals would have a place to go. I defy any of you to point to appreciable evidence in that particular area of TOO DENSE DEER POPULATION. You won’t find it. What you will find is the scars of development. Just wait until they allow Taylor to build 150 units and 2 retirement homes at the current Sheppard Pratt site. Take a good look at what they’ve done to Glenelg. All you hillbillies are missing the point of this article. This is what happens when development and tax money collide with nature. Nature loses every time…

    • imo

      Exactly, I live on Bonnie Branch and the bait area is directly in the line with my house!
      The funny thing is when Mr. Taylor lived there he would not allow hunting at all. And don’t you love the “Forest Restoration” signs with the 2-3 trees they plant in front of the communities.
      Oh yeah and one of the street names in the new community over there is “Prancing Deer”

  • Kathy Payne

    This is horrible. The deer need to be respected!!! I am an Ellicott City resident an find this totally upsetting. Please everyone try to stop this. They need to use birth control. Not shooting which is not right in todays world. Once again no one cares and just thinks about the fast answer. Use some sense and stop this now. Control by other means and think and listen to the people who might I add pay taxes and elect people in power so get a clue and find another way. They were here first not the selfish developers and big house hounds. Be civil find another way. Kathy

  • Tree lover


  • Redneck hater

    Breaking news! New condoms for deer called “Bo^ers for Bambi”

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