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Deer Overpopulation’s affect on Forests

There is a lot written about deer collisions with vehicles. White-tailed deer can spread lyme disease by carrying ticks. The damage done to landscape shrubs is well documented also.

A study done by the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. illustrates the effect of deer over population on forests. The study blocked a forest plot from deer access. Over twenty years they observed the trees and other vegetation that returned to the enclosed forest. The conservationists noticed greater diversity of plants and trees in the area blocked from deer.

A hundred years ago deer were rare in Maryland and Virginia where the study takes place. In the early 1900’s the state game departments regulated hunting and in some cases brought deer in from other states. The conservationists were successful and deer continue to flourish.

A hundred years ago there were more hunters harvesting deer for food. Today owners and property managers block more deer habitat from hunters. With no predators deer population can grow out of control with devastating effect on forest vegetation. Parks and public lands can organize hunting to manage deer population. Private property and farmland is more difficult to manage.

Deerhub.com is web-based software designed to help hunt clubs and land owners manage hunting on private property.

Deer Overpopulation Yields Disastrous Results For Forests – News – WAMU 88.5 FM – American University Radio.

Posted in deer management tool.