Backyard Deer

A growing problem in wildlife management involves large numbers of deer living in and around developed areas. Most of these habitats are off-limits to hunting and the resident deer grow tolerant of, even dependent upon, people. A recent study of the deer problem in a small village in upstate New York reported a deer density of 45 per square mile – about four times the recommended, sustainable density. The problem really surfaces in winter, when hungry deer frequent residential and commercial properties to forage. Backyard sightings at bird feeders and the destruction of landscape shrubs like Yew (Taxus) are common occurrences. As are starving and dead deer, mostly fawns, when snowy winters are long and harsh.

These photos were all taken in January, 2014. The deer (about 10 in all) were frequenting a private, residential property and raiding bird feeders. I have watched adult does kick fawns away from winter food but, in this instance, it was the yearling buck demonstrating the harsh reality of “nature’s way”. The young buck would not allow any other deer, adult does or fawns, to feed on birdseed when he was within striking distance.

Deer15Jan14#010E

Does23Jan14#122Ec8x10

Fawn23Jan14#091Ec8x10

Buck23Jan14#082Ec8x10

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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4 thoughts on “Backyard Deer

  1. Great photos, but we have the same problem out here. One component is that there seem to be less folks hunting them. My previous home was next to miles of tree farm and when they clear cut, replanted, then sprayed herbicide to kill any competing vegetation, the deer would starve and wiped out anything we tried to grow, including stuff they wouldn’t ordinarily touch.

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