Resources to Effectively Argue Against  Bow Hunting and
 Other Lethal Methods
to Resolve Human-Deer Conflicts
Produced by Peter Muller of the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

Mail Script


A letter is a lengthier document than an email but still concise. Most often it is first read by and aide and then brought to the decision-maker's attention. Keep that in mind when writing. Be objective and clear.  Avoid sounding condescending.

Keep your focus on your objective:

Call the decision-maker's attention to the fact that there is a substantiated position besides the one proposed by the hunters and the agencies



    1) Find out the name and title of the decision-maker (use the Internet).
    2) Address the decision-maker, by name and title.
    3) If you represent an organization write on the organization's letterhead and sign with you name and title.
    4) Know both sides of the issue
    5) Know what positions the decision maker has publicly or privately taken on the issue and skew your letter accordingly
    6) Request a venue for a presentation in the letter.
    7) If there is no response within ten days follow up with a phone call to the decision-maker referring to the letter.


1)  State the facts calmly; let the facts speak for themselves
2)  Don't ridicule or denigrate agencies or individuals representing the opposing view.
3)  Don’t get into a extremely detailed discussion by mail.
4)  If there is serious detailed interest indicated by a response request an in-person meeting.
5)  Don't misrepresent or exaggerate. You will damage your credibility as well as that of other  advocates.

Sample letter


Defenders of Deer Inc.

P.O. BOX 824

New City, NY 12034

PHONE: 232-444-3333


January 21, 2010


Mayor Harry  Kent

City Hall

Clarkstown, NY, 12078


Dear Mayor Kent,


I'm writing on behalf of our 375 members in Clarkstown. The approach which your committee proposed concerning the overpopulation of deer in Clarkstown town parks is ineffective and cruel at the same time.  The causes of deer overpopulation can be traced back to the deliberate deer management policies of the the DEC.  The game agency manages deer populations for hunters without regard for other stake-holders such as farmers, orchard owners, hikers, wildlife-watchers home-gardeners and drivers. 

Below are some reasons why bow hunting should not be used to control deer populations:

1. Bow-hunting will  exacerbate an overpopulation problem.

2. We cannot assume that the majority of local residents do not tolerate the current deer density based on the claims of the bow-hunters.

3. Deer density is not the sole factor in the diminishing of the understory. There are other known causes, such as canopies of  mature trees inhibiting sun from penetrating to the understory. The diminishing understory is not an aberrant phenomenon; it is a natural occurrence. It is part of  the manifestation normal ecological succession

4. Bow hunting  exacerbates deer-car collisions.

5. The density of the black-legged Lyme-tick  depends  primarily on the density of rodents, not deer.

6. Immunocontraception is relatively inexpensive and has worked successfully in parks and urban/suburban settings.

7. Bow hunting is ineffective and cruel; the crippling rate exceeds 50%.

Additionally, the proposal is endangering the health of clients of the food banks.  The deer meat will not be inspected, and in many cases will be be ground up with lead that is them from having been shot in non-vital organs in prior hunting seasons. Further, the deer have fed on lawns treated with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that bio-accumulate in the muscle-tissue of animals.  The only time “culled” deer were inspected in NY was in Irondequoit NY – where the deer carcasses  were going to be donated to Attica Prisoners – all 22 carcasses were rejected as “unfit for human consumption.”  The lack of ethical consideration given to the ineffective, pointless cruelty of the proposal is not mitigated by this sham-altruism.

We would appreciate an opportunity to address you and other members of the committee.


Jenifer Doran President
Defenders of Deer Inc.