Deer Management and Forest Health

“Deer are acting like a keystone species here .... it’s not a minor effect. It’s not affecting one or a few species. It’s not affecting one or a few sites. It’s not a temporary effect. These are pervasive, long-lasting effects that are actually shifting Wisconsin plant communities outside the Indian reservations into another state — a state of lower diversity, of different composition, more invasives.”

Deer picture

Quote from Don Waller, Professor of Botany, U of Wisconsin, from a study comparing forest management on state lands with that on Indian reservations.

The increase in Lyme Disease, the mounting evidence of excessive deer browse, a recent public meeting on deer management and new hunting efforts in Hanover have led to the creation of these webpages.

Photos and text describing local examples of severe deer browse, suggesting too many deer are in the neighborhood. What things should we look for, in detecting a browse problem?
 
This section has links to notes from a meeting, panelist information, a summary of public comments and suggestions, a news report and CATV coverage of a well-attended session held in September 2014. More than 150 people representing more than 23 towns attended one of the two sessions, to learn about the impact of deer on the health of our forests.
 
At moderate density, deer don’t eat everything. This section lists some plants and measures we can use in our yards and neighborhoods, to help deter deer.
 
A link to a separate part of the Biodiversity website. Most black-legged (deer) ticks obtain the Lyme disease bacteria from deer mice, not from deer. However, the ticks do prefer deer as a place to locate a mate and grab a final blood meal, so deer do play a major role in the biology of adult deer ticks. Check the section about deer and the other factors related to the increase in Lyme Disease.
 
This section covers the biology of deer, a brief history of deer in North America and the implications for deer management. There is a separate part on research and strategies used to control deer in other states.   
 
Links to NH, VT, NY and Cornell University deer management programs. Links to magazine and news articles about the impacts of deer. Also, links to and brief notes from major research on impacts by deer on forest health and assessment of methods for the control of excessive deer populations.  
 
Part SEVEN: Hanover Deer Harvest / Control Efforts
Report on the latest deer harvest in Hanover and other related topics.