To the point week of 10-4-07

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THE STORY ON TODAY’S front page is alarming on several different levels, and all residents of Switzerland County should take it very seriously.

If the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is estimating that this area could lose as much as 70-percent of its deer population to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease – or EHD – then there are financial as well as health concerns.

If the deer population falls, that could mean that the number of deer hunters coming into Switzerland County and spending their money could fall in future years, too. Hunting helps move this county’s economy, so suffering a major loss in that area could have serious consequences.

But the real danger to county residents is the possible contamination of the watershed and water supplies for people.

Humans cannot contract EHD, but a dead deer decaying in a streambed or creek or lake will definitely have an affect on the purity of the water found there.

If DNR officials have already found close to 200 dead deer, we all know that there will be more found in the coming weeks.

What can you do? First of all, if you find a dead deer on your property, call district wildlife biologist Chris Grauel at 812-352-8486.

Then get some help, take precautions – such as wearing gloves – and get the animal out of your streambed or wherever and have it disposed of properly.

Rotting deer is also not a healthy thing to be breathing or smelling, so don’t just let it lie there. We’ve all seen the deer laying along side the roadway after being hit, when no one appears to want to take the responsibility for moving it.

It can’t be that way on our lands and in our watersheds.