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As another deer hunting season begins, I wonder when we will end this ineffective and inhumane practice. There is no compelling argument that deer hunting effectively culls the deer population or reduces the amount of deer-related highway accidents. We continue this archaic and outdated practice to satisfy the cruel bloodlust of a few people who consider the horrific slaughter of innocent animals sport.

Although the deer population in Virginia does need to be kept in check, there are many more efficient and humane ways to do it. Herd management techniques such as birth control, fertility drugs and herd relocation have been much more effective than hunting in keeping deer populations down and are less costly to conservation programs than those of managing hunting and gaming practices. Deer hunting also has no impact on reducing deer related highway accidents as less than 2 percent of motor vehicle accidents per year in Virginia are attributed to deer and that number is not historically impacted by hunting practices.

It is time for Gov. McDonnell and the legislature to end the practice of deer hunting in Virginia. Hunting is unnecessary when there are other abundant food sources and sport is not a viable option for wildlife management. We must take a stand and end this outdated, horrific practice immediately.

Alexandra Sarkis, Sterling