Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Deer season reflections

I understand that over 100,000 deer were killed in Missouri over opening weekend, over 1000 in Johnson County. Interestingly enough, these are not records. I didn't contribute to the numbers, more's the pity; I didn't even see one. The main consolation is that it was a beautiful weekend for being outdoors.

Our tax-funded Missouri Department of Conservation over the years has liberaliized deer quotas throughout the state. In most areas, you can shoot as many deer as the opportunity presents, providing that all but one are does (or antlerless deer). When allowed harvests were smaller, the group I hunt with saw and shot more deer; with expanded harvests we have fewer deer hanging and more unused tags.

I wonder if this is analgous to the actions of the Federal Reserve Board in adjusting interest rates to fine tune economic growth. It's now generally accepted that they overdid credit-tightening back in 1998-2000, leading directly to the recession of 2000-2001. Then, they went on a spree of loosening credit and the economy recovered, despite all the shocks of 9/11 and two wars. Now, with high oil prices putting a crunch on spending and profits - and pushing prices upward - they've again decided to raise interest rates.

My question - is the Conservation Department's deer herd management program reacting to last years' conditions and causing future problems, just like the Federal reserve Board has done? Are they micormanaging the deer herd just like the Fed micromanages the economy, making certain decisions based on uncertrain data? Maybe I'll stop wondering if I fill a tag in the remaining week of the season.

In Liberty


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