What would happen if deer hunting were prohibited? There would be problems galore according to Robert Miller, the wildlife program manager for Maryland, where hunters kill 10,000 deer a year. There are now an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 white-tailed deer in Maryland, and if not hunted, the population would double in two years.
"There would be serious crop damage, especially to the corn and soybean crops in the lower Eastern Shore," says Miller. "We experienced that problem in the mid-1960s in Dorchester County." There would also be far more deerkills on state highways. Drivers now kill about 1,000 deer a year and, Miller says, "We could expect that figure to climb, along with injuries and even deaths to the state's motorists. Then there would be malnutrition-related problems with the deer, including parasites and disease. There might be some starvation."
Miller notes that in Vermont, where there is a century-old law prohibiting the hunting of does, an estimated 46,000 deer died in 1971 from starvation and attacks by dogs and other animals. By contrast, hunters took only 8,000.
Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who is the biggest fan of all? One nominee is Dr. Charles Davis, who has attended every Maryland home football game since 1930 when he joined the Veterinary Science Department. Another is Bob Beaven, a 53-year-old Houston accountant, who this week will see his 506th college football game. Beaven plans to visit the 250 top college teams in the country. He has about 50 to go.
Then there is Giles (Bud) Pellerin, a 71-year-old retired accounting examiner, who has seen every Southern Cal football game, home and away, since 1926. Last week Pellerin attended his 543rd game, the loss to Notre Dame in South Bend. In the old days Pellerin used to go to games by train (he had understanding bosses), but now he usually flies on the USC team charter. Over the years he has logged close to 600,000 miles. His streak was almost broken in 1949 when he had an emergency appendectomy on the Tuesday before the UCLA game, but he got himself sprung from the hospital at noon Saturday in time to make the kick-off. "I don't think I'm a nut," says Pellerin. "It's all been fun. After all, you spend a lot more on other things."
Happy birthday, Instant Replay, born 10 years ago in Redwood City, Calif. The complex replay machine, called the HS-100C, costs about $110,000 and is now entering its third electronic generation. There are more than 300 such machines around the world (the Russians are said to be anticipating the acquisition of several for their 1980 Olympic coverage), but despite the revolution that the device has brought to TV, John Poole, the senior staff engineer at Ampex Corporation who headed the development team, rarely bothers to watch sports on the tube.
Poole, who came to the U.S. from England in 1960, finds American football incomprehensible. "I have no knowledge of football," he says. "I played some rugby football, but I was astounded when I saw American football. Everyone seems to get tackled in your game." True to form, Poole did not watch any of the NBA playoff games earlier this year, and he finds golf a bore because "there is too much walking between holes." Poole says, "The BBC has a couple of our recorders. Maybe they cover cricket matches with them. Cricket would provide you with a lot of time to see the highlights."