Well, it’s a good day when it starts out with me being called awesome names like UPPITY HEARTLESS WENCH, which I believe is Shakespeare, no?


Yeah, I pissed off a bunch of people again. This time because I wrote a slightly humorous piece in support of the Mt. Lebanon deer cull plan because I don’t see what’s so awful about trying to control the population of deer and offering the meat up to the food banks.

I mean, these protestors DO know where their steaks come from, right? And their chicken? I mean, IT’S GOT THE WORD CHICKEN RIGHT IN IT. It’s an animal. That was killed.


Anyway, their general reaction to my piece was this:


If you want to get pissed off at me and call me names too, then go read what I wrote about the overreaction of some residents, one who called the cull “cruel fascism” perpetrated by “elite elitist people.”

A snippet:

Mt. Lebanon in particular is being overrun by deer, with increasing encounters and accidents, so the community’s leaders decided to do something about it. They are implementing a plan to reduce the local deer population. Because they don’t want to call it “OPERATION BAMBI EXECUTION,” they’ve simply called it a “deer cull.” Sounds lovely and not at all bloody and deathy. 

Guys, look. I know I joke, but I am not an animal hater. I am a pigeon hater and a cat TOLERATOR. I don’t kill animals for sport and I honestly never could. That’s just me.  If you’re a hunter, fine. You do you. Meat is delicious.

But I understand the damage deer can do, especially if their population isn’t controlled in residential and highly populous areas, and if we can control the deer population and provide the meat to local food banks, I see that as a win-win.

I’m just being logical — or an UPPITY HEARTLESS WENCH.

Which is my new rapper name.

Go read and leave me nasty comments. I can take it.

Oh, and donate to sick kids! Please? PLEASE?! PLEASSEEEEEEE?!



  1. Butcher's dog
    February 26, 2015 10:39 am

    Another alternative to killing the deer with guns and cars is having them starve because their population outstrips the food supply. I assume the protesters think that’s a more humane way for them to die.

  2. michelle
    February 26, 2015 12:40 pm

    Butcher’s dog already beat me to it, but, yep, as an animal lover, I’d much rather an animal die relatively quickly by a gun or arrow than slowly starve to death. Using the meat as a way to feed those in need is a nice touch. I don’t know the ins and outs, and it doesn’t seem the council is maybe handling this in the best way, at least from a PR perspective. But it doesn’t change the fact that animals starving isn’t humane and allowing the population to outstrip resources is “environmental”. I’d point anyone making the latter argument to the story of the goats that nearly destroyed the Galapagos Islands and the turtle population there. The islands and turtles were saved – by shooting the goats from a helicopter sniper-style, a program run by a conservation campaign.

  3. Ginny's Dad
    February 26, 2015 6:17 pm

    Deer also carry ticks that can cause Lyme’s disease. In regard to the mean-spirited and nasty comments that you received, they come primarily from intolerant people who do not want to hear opposing views. So instead of giving a rational rebuttal, they resort to verbal abuse. Stand your ground, daughter!

    • Kelly
      February 27, 2015 7:45 am

      Many animals carry ticks that can cause lyme disease, rats, mice, rabbits and other small animals. People hear “deer tick” and blame only the deer.

  4. Kelly
    February 27, 2015 7:39 am

    The meat won’t be going to any food banks, none will take it as there is no way to verify its safety. In addition, many residents aren’t against culling the deer, its the METHOD that is the issue. Corraling deer to shoot with high powered rifles in public parks is not really what I would consider safe.
    In addition, with deer in the road being a major problem, why, just why, does Lebo plant flowers that deer LOVE to eat in their traffic islands? They are liring deer into the road. Just dumb.
    Other communities this the herd using safer and more humane methods. Lebo just doesn’t want to take the time to do that.

  5. Derrick
    February 27, 2015 1:03 pm

    I hope this blog post and the related article gives Pittsburgh Magazine pause and a chance to reassess their decision to give Virginia Montanzen a platform from which to broadcast her musings. For a magazine that considers itself to be in sync with the forward-thinking city Pittsburgh has become, Ms. Montanzen has proven herself to be an awkward fit at best. This article’s attempt at humor falls painfully flat. Instead, we are left with a sophomoric rant that is embarrassingly outdated, uneducated, and for lack of a better word, yucky. For a woman who no doubt considers herself to be in-vogue, Ms. Montanzen has made one thing clear: She can’t wait to impact her colon with some venison. Perhaps she missed the memo that a vegan/vegetarian friendly city ranks right up there with bike friendliness when it comes to attracting youthful residents. Said cities do not include a middle aged, out of touch, “writer” trivializing the killing of any animal, deer or otherwise, in one of it’s leading publications. Do yourself a favor, Pittsburgh Magazine, and hire someone with a little more tact and a youthful perspective. Get a grip? Get a clue.

  6. Dottie
    February 27, 2015 2:34 pm

    Seriously Derrick, Get a grip……. Where is your tolerance to people who do not think the way you do? Sad when you judge people based on a single issue. We all have a difference of opinions on many issues but we do not spew hate. Come on……

  7. Old Dutchman
    February 27, 2015 2:35 pm

    Kelly: Yes, it is very easy to donate meat in PA without having to “prove it is safe”. Check http://www.sharedeer.org/ for more information on the Share The Harvest program in PA.

    Derrick: You need to impact your colon with some venison; maybe it would put some hair on your nards. Come on, man!

    I think everyone is missing the most IMPORTANT issue here, and that is this: The picture on the top of the Pittsburgh Magazine article is NOT a whitetail deer. It’s some kind of a Japanese deer. Where’s the fact-checking? Where’s the journalistic integrity? I hope that was your editor’s fault and not yours, Ginny.

    • Kelly
      February 27, 2015 6:48 pm

      Old Dutchman,

      No food bank is willing to take the deer meat.
      All in the area have been contacted and all declined.

  8. YinzerInExile
    March 1, 2015 6:20 am

    I have no problem with hunting–quite the contrary: Wild game is one of the most humane sources of animal protein. Venison makes delicious chili and spaghetti sauce.

    But this cull is not “hunting” unless by “hunting” you mean “canned hunting.” Baiting deer into a 6×6 pen (and in the process kicking me out of the public spaces for which I PAY DEARLY as a Lebo resident) so they can thrash and break legs and necks while waiting for the shooters to arrive is not only nothing even remotely like hunting, it’s also nothing even remotely like humane or civilized.

    And as far as I’ve heard, Kelly is correct: food banks have turned away the deer because even though they serve the pors–who many apparently think should be just happy to whatever crap their “betters” deign to give them–the meat from these animals will be rendered inedible due to the extreme stress they will experience in the last hour or so of their lives, which saturates their muscles with the neurotransmitters that encourage them to thrash until bloody in effort to flee.

    Perhaps it’s a joke to you because you because it’s happening so far away, and your kids don’t have to pass the cull pens on their way to school, and random people won’t be firing rifles withing 75 feet or so of your house. But how hard is empathy or, at a bare minimum, research, before spouting off about hunting. Which this isn’t.

  9. Debby
    March 1, 2015 9:30 am

    You do realize that there have only been 6 accidents caused by a deer since they’ve been keeping track of this? That is in a 10 year period. So deer causing accidents is a poor excuse for this. What the issue is not about accidents at all. It’s about Mt. Lebanon residents not wanting their tulips eaten. The meat cannot be donated to a food bank when the deer are killed in this manner. The amount of stress that will happen when the deer are contained trying to get out of the enclosure will cause the meat to be on edible. Do your research before you flap your gums.

    • bucdaddy
      March 2, 2015 4:04 pm

      Story I read says Mount Lebo officials hope to get the number of deer-vehicle accidents down from 45 a year to around 22. Where do your numbers come from?

      • Debby
        March 2, 2015 4:44 pm

        “My numbers” come from the meeting held in Mount Lebanon several days ago where they gave out that number. So your stories that you were reading are incorrect.

  10. Butcher's dog
    March 1, 2015 10:09 pm

    Then let the hunters take the deer, just like many do in season, with a pledge to donate a like amount of “acceptable” meat to area food banks. Or let the protesters donate to the banks, but don’t call municiple services when the deer starve on your property. Dispose of that carcass yourself.

  11. bucdaddy
    March 2, 2015 1:20 pm

    The method doesn’t matter to the Bambi lovers. They raised hell down here about a controlled bow hunt in isolated areas of the city, where you’d never even see the hunters (though once it got under way and everyone realized it wasn’t going to create the predicted havoc, and proved successful besides, things calmed down a bit). IIRC, much if not all the meat goes to groups like Hunters Helping the Hungry.

    But I’m always fascinated by the animal lovers in these scenarios, because they wish to pick and choose which nature they want to see on their lawns. I mean, if your average Mount Lebanoner walked out on the patio one day and found a rattlesnake or a black bear, or a coyote or wolf or bobcat carrying off Fifi or Kitty, there’d be an immediate call to every public official within 20 miles to DO SOMETHING DO SOMETHING RIGHT GODDAM NOW about the rattlesnake/black bear/wolf/coyote/bobcat problem.

    But deer are different for some reason, even though they can carry Lyme disease, and can demolish gardens and cars. Maybe Disney needs to make some movies about cute cuddly rattlesnakes.

    Part of the deer problem, of course, is that we’ve run off most if not all of the deer’s natural predators. We’re the only ones left, so it’s up to us to keep the numbers down. My alternative suggestion is that we import a nice big pack of wolves to Mount Lebanon. That might help some, and I’m sure the nature-loving Mount Lebanites won’t mind. If they’re lucky, they’ll get to see real nature in action when a wolf pack takes down a deer in the back yard and rips it to shreds. Hey, honey, tell the kids to come watch this! Ah, Nature!

    (I do have one other suggestion, I’ve been badgering a guy I know on the DNR commission down here to propose allowing folks to spotlight deer from the highway and machine gun the bastards. He hasn’t taken me up on it yet, tho.)

  12. YinzerInExile
    March 2, 2015 1:38 pm

    Super fascinated, in particular, that people who don’t live here feel entitled to tell people who do live here how they should feel about cull pens in their public space, and people shooting within proximity to their houses.

    1. While deer overpopulation in the state of PA is a huge freaking issue, attended by starvation and chronic wasting disease, that is NOT the case in Lebo. The deer here are not starving–quite the contrary, actually, as their numbers reflect a healthy population (no CWD found in the area) with more than enough food in the form of people’s most treasured landscaping. Deer are emphatically not starving to death in our back yards.

    2. People get all “LYME DISEASE OMG KILL THE DEER DEER TICKS OMGWTFBBQ?!!!?!!!!” which is stupid, considering that deer ticks are carried by much more plentiful fauna, including squirrels and mice. So no, killing 100 or so deer is not going to functionally reduce your likelihood of contracting Lyme, nor are they, alone, a significant vector for the disease.

    3. I’m an animal lover who eats meat and has no problem with hunting. I do, however, have a problem with inhumane treatment of animals. This is a canned hunt. This is inhumane. There are better ways to deal with this nonexistent problem if my fellow cake-eaters really can’t get past the consumption of their hostas. Sterilization is one of those options. An experimental culling procedure roundly condemned by the Humane Society, which involves booting me out of my public space and firing guns next to my house, is not.

    This entire issue is a fantastic example of someone (PittGirl) who neither understood, nor cared to understand, the ACTUAL issues, attempting a piece of humor from a place of ignorance. People have now glommed onto what was written–without any sort of research or overtures to journalism (not her fault, it was a failed funny and not an investigative piece) and are sitting in Westmoreland County, Squirrel Hill, Monroeville, Brentwood, and whereeverthehell that is NOT Lebo, telling residents they’re iambi-loving nitwits.

    Which is easy enough to do, I suppose, when you don’t care to actually understand the issues and your parks are still yours, etc.

    • bucdaddy
      March 2, 2015 4:01 pm

      “This is a canned hunt. This is inhumane.”

      What makes it more or less humane than tracking them down in the woods and shooting them? Or, in my best-case scenario, machine gunning them from the highway? Did you ever set a mouse trap? Did you bait it?

      Dead’s dead. Seems to me, having the cull limited to six designated areas is preferable to having armed hunters roaming all areas of the borough. That WOULD have me worried, unless they were very carefully screened bowhunters working under a very strict set of rules, as happens in my town. My larger point is, this issue usually stirs up a huge hysteria until city officials develop the stones to go through with a cull, at which time most people will hardly even notice it happened, because they won’t have hunters aiming high-powered rifles through their picture windows, as they imagine it.

      And sterilization is quite expensive.

      “really can’t get past the consumption of their hostas.”

      So your contempt for plant lovers should trump their contempt for Bambi-lovers? Can’t we all just get along? There’s a hell of a lot of rural Pennsylvania for the deer and elk and squirrels and rabbits to inhabit (though not as much as there used to be, which is another part of the problem), but only so much room in your yard for your hostas. Why, in your view, shouldn’t people be allowed to grow plants they like on their property without having them eaten to the nub?

      • YinzerInExile
        March 2, 2015 5:43 pm

        The difference between a canned hunt and hunting is huge, actually.

        Canned hunt = deer cull = deer are baited into 6×6 pens. When a critical mass of deer are penned (I believe, in this case, it’s something like 6 deer), the gates are closed. Shooters are then dispatched to the site which, last I heard, was estimated to take up to an hour. During that time, the deer panic, thrash around, break legs and necks. The commission knows this to be true because they admitted at the last council meeting that they SAW IT in the videos they were shown.

        Hunting = pursuit of an animal in its natural habitat, where that animals has the opportunity to flee. Canned hunt = round ’em up, trap ’em, shoot ’em. The ensuing panic is the reason food banks won’t take the deer–the stress, and flood of adrenaline, etc. renders the meat inedible.

        Dead may be dead, but how a living creature gets there actually IS important, which is why cattle ranchers and feed lots/slaughter houses have hired Temple Grandin, a high-functioning autistic woman who feels that her perception and response to the environment is closer to that of an animal, to help them reduce the stress on animals going to slaughter. With lower levels of pre-slaughter stress, an attending neurotransmitter flooding, the meat can be sold for a higher price.

        For this reason, the Humane Society condemns both the Lebo deer cull and canned hunts IN GENERAL.

        And no, actually, I’ve never baited or used a mousetrap.

        What makes my opinion more valuable than people who want to plant deer-attracting non-native species?

        Well, for one, I hate stupid. They are creating their own problem and then demanding that the municipality fix it, at taxpayer expense, in an ethically questionable (to be generous) manner. In order to fix the problem that they’ve created, I, a taxpayer, must additionally sacrifice my access to my neighborhood parks.

        Pursuant to that, killing an animal in what amounts to protracted torture is never justified just to ensure someone can have a plant that they want, but which is fundamentally incompatible with the environment in which they live. The deer didn’t just suddenly show up. They were here when the people decided to knowingly plant things that would attract them. Quel suprise.

        And finally, re: your post below: No. You actually can’t tell me. And this is, surprisingly, the most irritating aspect of this entire issue. You had a deer population problem somewhere that is not Mt. Lebanon. You are not familiar with the background tensions that precede this cull plan, which includes a significant amount of distrust of council on matters completely unrelated thereto, including a bizarro spot property re-assessment scheme, a school renovation that has cost many tens of millions of dollars, a proposal to raise millage rates, and a highly contested turfing project. Add on top of those pre-existing tensions, the fact that the group who came up with the plan (and the cost!) were then awarded the contract.

        Some of the people are opposed to the deer cull because it is inhumane.

        Some people are opposed because there are better ways (the sterilization proposal was actually less expensive.)

        Some are opposed because they do not want their neighborhood to be the testing ground for this first-ever culling protocol.

        Some are opposed because they are suspicious about the manner in which the contract was awarded.

        Some are opposed because they are deeply distrustful of the way this commission seems to be running the municipality.

        And that’s the point I’ve tried to make several times, now. People From Away are reading stupid, simplistic crap like the Pittsburgh Mag piece and assuming they possess all of the facts, a hardier constitution, and the right to tell people who live here how they should feel.

        • bucdaddy
          March 2, 2015 8:23 pm

          “Some are opposed because they are deeply distrustful of the way this commission seems to be running the municipality.”

          Now you’re talking. I can identify with that. I’ll have to ask my dad more about life in Mount Lebo when he gets back from his cruise (he lives on Kingsberry Circle, often sees deer around there, plus he likes to garden in the complex, so he’ll be invested).

          But .. you’ve never had a mouse in the house? How did you manage that?

          And just out of curiosity … if you live in Mount Lebanon (I take it you do), why are you a “Yinzer In Exile”?

          Anyway, sorry, I don’t feel much empathy for the deer. There’s a billion of them, and they’ll make plenty more.

          I don’t really feel a lot of empathy for people, either. I’d support a cull as long as I could help decide who got culled.

    • bucdaddy
      March 2, 2015 4:10 pm

      Oh, also, I feel entitled to tell you because we’ve BEEN through all this where I’m from. And now the annual cull goes on with little to no opposition, because it’s managed well.

      I can see your concerns about whether the Mount Lebanon cull will be managed well, being the first time and all. But I’d give the borough the benefit of the doubt that it will be, while scrutinizing the process very closely. And if they screw it up and it turns ugly, then sure, no more of that.