After nearly wiping out many wildlife species 50 years ago, Americans are once again living close — sometimes uncomfortably so — to all kinds of feral creatures. From swine to swans, many wild animals are flourishing around the country.
The population of white-tail deer in the U.S. is larger today than it was when Columbus sailed the ocean blue and feral pigs have exploded across 48 of the 50 states, with some 5 million rooting through city parks, rural farms and suburban backyards.
Whether you’re a Floridian wondering what to do with the alligator at your door, a New Yorker with a hawk nesting on your high-rise, or an Ohioan scattering a flock of Canada geese, you now live, work and play in closer proximity to untamed fauna than any generation of Americans in more than a century. And chances are, you’ve had your own encounter with one of the untamed beasts.
On this week’s TIME cover story, David Von Drehle makes the case that the only solution for this resurgent overpopulation is more hunting. “The same environmental sensitivity that brought Bambi back from the brink now makes it painfully controversial to do what experts say must be done: a bunch of critters need to be killed,” he writes.
You may disagree. But it’s likely that no matter where you come down, you do have critters living in your backyard. If so, we want to see them. Send us a picture on Twitter using the hashtag #TIMEcritters, and we’ll feature them on Time.com. Click here to see what readers have submitted so far.
Click here to join TIME for as little as $2.99 to read David Von Drehle’s cover story on America’s pest problem.