Indiana’s deer population is growing, and with it come concerns about overgrazing forests and increased risk of car-deer collisions on the roadways.(Image: Matt Miller, The Nature Conservancy.)Many Hoosiers consider deer to be majestic creatures in nature, but some conservationists are voicing concerns about the dangers of deer overpopulation. At the turn of the 20th century, there were actually no deer in Indiana, but by the 1980s, expansion efforts had been successful and deer sightings today are common.According to the Southern Indiana program director for the Nature Conservancy, Allen Pursell, the issue now is that feeding all those deer is affecting the ecosystem, and their browsing can be destructive.“They are a natural part of the ecosystem and they belong out in our forests, and it was a great thing to see them return,” he declared. “But like a lot of things, having too much is a bad thing, and we’re getting to the place where there are so many deer now that they exceed the carrying capacity of our forests.”Pursell said people have very strong feelings on the subject: they either want more game animals to hunt, or consider it cruel to kill deer. He added that, in many areas of the country, deer have changed the composition and structure of forests by overgrazing them.There is no easy answer, but Pursell said all sides in the deer population debate will have to compromise to find the best solution.He pointed out that the overpopulation is also affecting suburbia, where the interaction between deer and people becomes much closer and personal, and can affect public safety when the animals get onto the roads.“One estimate is that in Indiana there were about 30,000 of these deer-car accidents every year, and each one of those accidents will cost, to repair, somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000. And that’s big money.”With the loss of wolves and mountain lions in the region, the deer lack natural predators, which Pursell said leaves it up to humans to control the population. And while there are more humane options, he said, the hard reality is that hunting is the most effective.“Many people have looked for other solutions, birth control and other means of doing things, but either they’re not biologically effective or they’re not economically effective,” he said. “And so, hunting is really to be at this point in time the key to managing the deer population.”Indiana is among states that have changed policies to stabilize or reduce the number of deer, and enacted the first modern firearms season targeting female deer in the state’s history.
Six weeks after Shohei Ohtani was diagnosed with a grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament that threatened his use as a pitcher, perhaps until 2020, he was cleared on Thursday to begin a throwing program.Tests showed continued healing in his elbow from the platelet-rich plasma injection and stem-cell therapy that he underwent last month, the Angels announced. It’s a significant piece of surprising good news for a team that has been ravaged by injuries.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Based on the time Ohtani missed and what’s typical for this type of rehab, the best-case scenario would be for Ohtani to be able to pitch in games by the beginning of September.“We were obviously pleased with the results of his evaluation, and we are looking forward to him beginning that throwing process and seeing where that eventually takes us,” general manager Billy Eppler said. Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak So far Ohtani’s progress has been better than when Garrett Richards had PRP treatment in 2016. Richards was diagnosed with a torn UCL in early May, and initially slated for Tommy John surgery. He then got further opinions that led him to PRP, but he still didn’t resume throwing until August.Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Richards returned to pitch at 100 percent by instructional league in October 2016. Although he’d dealt with other injuries subsequently, his ligament remained intact until this month, when it finally gave way. Richards is now scheduled for Tommy John surgery next week.JC Ramírez also underwent PRP to treat a damaged UCL in September 2017, and he didn’t resume throwing until November. Ramírez also appeared to be healthy, before eventually tearing the ligament after two starts in 2018.Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano briefly tried PRP in 2016, but both ended up having Tommy John surgery before they were cleared to throw.The Angels have never discussed the specifics of Ohtani’s damaged UCL, beyond calling it a grade 2 sprain. Eppler, however, said that no doctor had ever told him that Ohtani needed Tommy John surgery. Ohtani began throwing immediately, playing catch at a distance of up to 60 feet on Thursday afternoon.Ohtani still has several significant tests to overcome before the Angels know when he can pitch again. He will need to slowly increase the intensity of his throwing, up to game speed, before they can be confident enough that his ligament will hold for him to proceed without surgery.If Ohtani, 24, still ends up needing to have Tommy John surgery, the Angels would likely want to know that before mid October, so he could have the procedure and be ready for the 2020 season.In the meantime, Ohtani was cleared to resume hitting three weeks ago, and he returned to the Angels lineup just over two weeks ago. Ohtani, who is 6 for 24 since returning, is hitting .283 with an .887 OPS this season.On the mound, Ohtani has a 3.10 ERA in nine starts. He last pitched on June 6, the day before the UCL damage was discovered. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error