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.
Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.