The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism held their most recent commission meeting on January 5th. During the meeting, the pet deer shooting incident is addressed.
The homeowner starts the discussion about her pet deer shortly after the 20 minute mark. She spoke about her family’s relationship with the deer and the unprofessional conduct of the game wardens for about 12 minutes. Her statements are followed by Major Mark Rankin’s address. By the time he is done speaking, you may notice he appears to be smirking. I can’t tell for sure. It may just be the way he speaks. I would hope someone in his position wouldn’t have contempt for the lady or the situation.
Interesting to note
If you watched Rankin’s full response, you heard him cite how two people have been killed from deer attacks in Kansas history. Apparently, that was one of the primary motivating factors for the game wardens, who “feared” for the family’s safety, to kill the deer. Remember how evident that fear was as the game warden was filmed petting the deer on the head moments before he herded it out of the yard and shot it? Yeah, me neither.
In the very next breath, Rankin mentioned how even dogs, which have been domesticated for 1000’s of years, are still responsible for hundreds of attacks, and even deaths, each year because they are still unpredictable animals.
That’s an interesting comparison. By that logic, it sounds like he must be in favor of marching onto properties and shooting dogs as well, right? Families must be protected from the imminent, unpredictable danger dwelling within man’s best friend!
I say that in jest because obviously Rankin (nor anyone) would advocate that happening. However, it is important to note his logic about dogs because it exposes how the death of two people from deer attacks was simply an excuse to kill the deer (as I said in my previous story). Otherwise, if people being injured or killed was really an important concern to him and his agents, they would be marching onto properties and breaking down doors to kill dogs, no matter how tame they looked. After all, dogs have the potential to be dangerous and are in fact an exponentially larger public threat than deer attacks by Rankin’s own admission.
The point is, the game wardens used convenient excuses to take the easy way out, which was killing the deer instead of removing it from the premises. A tactful, professional approach just required too much time and work for the wardens.
We are witnessing a PR disaster here for the KDWPT, and they deserve every bit of it.