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Internet Survey of Current Deer Management Issues The Western Section of the Wildlife Society February, 2012. G. Kent Webb San Jose State College of Business Ph.d ., M.B.A., M.S.E. . Goals:

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Internet Survey of Current

Deer Management Issues

The Western Section of the Wildlife Society

February, 2012

G. Kent Webb

San Jose State

College of Business

Ph.d., M.B.A., M.S.E.



Create a searchable collection of the most current deer information to support research and management.

Increase public

awareness of deer issues

Support academic

research in the use of

the Internet to support

decision making



Google Search and Google Alerts

- Over 200 articles per day from Google

Alerts using various “deer” keywords

- Seeing most content that pops up

Google Sites

- Web hosting tool well integrated with

Google tools

- Advertising on news pages almost pays

for hosting and internet costs




Distribution of

Significant Information

Deer Hunting: 25 %

General Management: 19 %

Urban Deer Management: 17 % (most decisions,

growing number of stories)

Deer Vehicle Collisions: 16 %

Deer Resistant Plants: 7 %

Disease of Deer: 5 %


News Threads for Presentation

Decline of Western and Other Deer Populations

Predator Management

Hunter Management

Efforts to Reduce Deer Vehicle Collisions

Litigation and Legislation

Urban Deer Management

Powerpoint presentation available at, link at upper right


Decline of Deer Populations

(references, last slide)

Deer Friendly Forests (1)

California Graphic 1984 CDFG (2)

The California deer population has plummeted over the past two decades ( - 50% +) (3)

(Thanks Dave Smith, CDFG)


Decline of Deer Populations


Siskiyou county first to propose changes to deer tags “ … the deer are just hammered” (4, Feb. 2011)

No doe hunts in Butte, Colusa and now Yuba counties, but deer population continues to decline (5, Jan. 2012), perhaps 30 % in last several years

Wildlife biologists report some increase in deer populations along Sacramento River in Feb. 2010 (6)


Decline of Deer Populations


...“The herd has been stable,” [Randy] Botta said there are between 5,500 and 6,200 deer on public, “huntable” land in San Diego County, after years of decline (7)

Dr. Steven White, of the San Jose State University Department of Biological Sciences, takes DFG to task over eliminating the refuges without suggesting an alternative to help the declining deer population in the state. (8)

In 2010, CDFG begins study in 2010 Mendocino, Glenn and Lake counties


Decline of Deer Populations


About 50,000 mule deer in Nevada, down from a few hundred thousand a few decades ago

Some on the Nevada Wildlife Commission think the mule deer could become extinct in the state

Cut deer tags 22 percent in 2011 (9)


Plans to eliminate deer, invasive species


Decline of Deer Populations

Alaska reports slow recovery (10)

Washington: few fawns, deer population down by 25 % in 5 years in some areas, decrease in logging since 1990 (11)

Oregon: Declining herd over 5 years, problems in north, 2011 number of deer shot up 14% (12)

Idaho: Lowest fawn survival rate since 1998 among radio collared fawns, 26%, harsh winter, average is 60% (13)


Decline of Deer Populations

Utah: Number of deer tags reduced by 7,000 in 2011 out of concern for declining deer population (14)

Arizona: Antelope fawn survival, few to none. Game and Fish suspect predation, conducting study (15). Deer herd about stable.

Montana: Mule deer counts down 35 % in some regions at end of 2011 (winters, predators, oil development) (16)


Decline of Deer Populations

Wyoming: Officials looking for ways to grow the herd, 20 to 30 percent declines over 5 to 10 years in many areas (increased oil and gas drilling an issue) (17)

Colorado: Mule deer down by up to 36 percent in northern mountains in 30 years, NWF study concludes that herds across Colorado and southern Wyoming "may not be able to fully recover ”without protection (18)


Decline of Deer Populations

North Dakota: harsh winter, few fawns”… they're just not able to bring the fawn to birth ... they will reabsorb the fetus and use the energy to stay alive (19).

Maine: Population crash, precipitous decline in last four years. Habitat, harsh winter, and coyotes. Fish and Game changes policy against feeding deer and offers how-to instructions (20)

South Carolina: Decline in deer population results in a proposal to reduce buck limit in state with most liberal limits. Coyotes and forest (21)


Decline of Deer Populations

Texas drought has decimated fawn production.

- Deer killed in hunts were in better shape than expected (22)

- Does miscarried or abandoned fawns they could not feed (23)

- Starvation not a necessary condition for a dramatic fall in population based on food supply

- Another drought on the way

- Disease is wiping out the oak trees, Chestnut blight destroyed all trees in NE by 1942, 50 miles a year (also in CA, sudden oak death) (24)


Decline of Deer Populations

How accurate is the data: Not Very

A Michigan hunter blog asserts that at least 50% of the deer kills are illegal (25)

"Estimating the number of deer you have is the La Brea Tar Pit of deer managment"  Dr. James Kroll, new Deer Czar of Wisconsin (26)


Predator Management

Hunters think it’s the lions


Predator Management

Michigan: Wolves hunted as of Jan. 27, 2012

- Reduced logging in the Upper Peninsula almost certainly had a greater impact on deer populations than wolves (27)

Wolves also hunted in: Idaho, Montana, Minnesota

California: First wolf since 1924 around Dec. 29

- Two year old male with a tracking collar crosses from Oregon (tracked online DFG Map) (28)


Predator Management

Virginia: Coyote and Wolf Hybird

Deer populations are down in parts of Virginia as a result of coyote predation

Coyotes entered from the north and bred with wolves along the way (Smithsonian) (29)

Youtube video (30)

Two coyotes (hybrid?) take down a large buck in Oklahoma


Predator Management

New York:

Preliminary findings show coyotes have little impact on adult deer survival rates (92 percent were scavenged remains) but they do impact the fawn population (34 documented coyote kills).

One collared female coyote with seven pups killed 10 fawns during a three-week period... (31)


Hunter Management

Texas: "The universe of deer hunters is on a spiral downward,"

"I've spoken with outfitters and seen other analyses that support my theory that fewer young adults are electing to join the field of deer hunters." Texas PWD Executive Director Carter Smith ..."A new age of outdoors-inclined folks are joining the party. Some have never hunted or fished before, but love the outdoors, and their focus may be on other things, like biking, photography and canoeing,“ (32)


Hunter Management

Washington: Number of hunters down significantly in 2011 (jj) May approve more expensive multiple-season permits (33)

Idaho: Deer and elk tag revenue down $3 million since 2008 (34)

Utah: Number of tags has been falling since the

Mid-1980s (35)

Arizona: Applications for big-game hunting permits have fallen 22 percent since 2006... Arizona still gets far more applications than it can approve (36)


Hunter Management

A trophy mule deer in the Trans-Pecos (Texas) averages $4,500 and management bucks average $3,000 (36)Management buck, $1,000 top trophy $7,500 (38)

Minnesota DNR tries to raise hunting fees again

in 2012, turned down in 2011, no increase since 2000 (39)

California: Resident deer tag $29.16

Non-resident: $255.96


Map shows

where people

are taking

pictures of deer

and posting on

internet. Click

on icons for


Deer Vehicle Collisions

CDFG begins collar and video

monitoring of deer after young

Stanford grad and Santa Clara

professor dies after he gets out

of his car on I-280 after striking

a deer. About 100 deer hit per

year along a 13 mile stretch

north of Woodside. (40) Map icon

density predicts location

U of Alberta study: collision sites

formed “fairly striking patterns”:

- high speed limits

- high vegetation right up to the

roadside (41)

Davis researcher Shilling ... is among those who

chastise Caltrans for continuing to build concrete

median barriers on freeways and highways. The

barriers can act as a trap,(42)

Map does not

reflect overall

deer density


Deer Vehicle Collisions

Insurance Studies:

Third year of decline in U.S., down 7% from

2010, fewer miles in recession suggests State Farm (43). Some suspect deer adapting

Deer Hunting and Vehicle Collisions:

Opening day and opening Saturday of hunting season are “two of the most dangerous days to drive.” in Pennsylvania

Missouri Insurance Information Service, increased deer activity associated with hunting is a "major factor" in the rise in deer-vehicle collisions in the

last three months of the year. (44)


Deer Vehicle Collisions


Wins design award for U.S. 6 reduction in collisions

“Ninety percent of the success of a wildlife crossing

is location ...“ Patty Cramer, USU Researcher. (45)

A new type of snow fencing on State Road 73...

a local resident comments: ."The fencing has limited

open slots and miles of solid wall… wherever there is

a slot in the fencing, you'll find a dead deer on the


... Mindy Nelson, a UDOT spokeswoman, said

UDOT was not aware of a deer situation. (46)


Deer Vehicle Collisions


University research using critter cams

shows deer and

other animals will

use storm drains,

much smaller than expected, to avoid traffic.

Does seem to be showing fawns (47)


Deer Vehicle Collisions

Despite a 34 percent

increase in the Rochester Hills deer population since 2009, the city experienced a 25 percent reduction in deer-vehicle crashes

The decline was up to five times greater than that

seen in neighbouring areas, which did not use the

signs and "Don't veer for the deer" campaign (48)


Deer Vehicle Collisions

... A birth control injection for deer puts them completely out of the mood to mate for up to five years without a booster.... GonaCon ... eliminates dangerous and destructive courtship behaviors responsible for the autumn increase in collisions between cars and deer (49)

… planning to extend a stretch of roadside reflectors … meant to curb night-time car-deer collisions, citing the apparent success of the experimental system (50)


Litigation and Legislations

Litigation: Courts are looking at the science

Alaska Headline: Court confirms: US Forest Service flubbed science by allowing logging in Tongass (52)

Sierra Club argues Utah regulators illegally approved a mine near Bryce Canyon mine by ignoring the damage, a major migration corridor used by a mule deer herd. The Utah Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in late 2012. (52)


Litigation and Legislations

New York:

Binghamton University must conduct an impact

analysis that will be reviewed by courts before

conducting a deer cull (53)


Litigation and Legislations



the Wisconsin State Assembly approved a bill to eliminate the Department of Natural Resources' earn-a-buck program (54)


HB 2034 is a legislative attempt to remove deer management from the control of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and put it into the hands of hunters and legislators (55)


Urban Deer Management

Often cited as the most contentious issue facing

local governments

Missouri: Residents Line Streets to Protest Cull

- 2008 poll shows 68 % of residents oppose deer cull (56, January, 2012) (Town and Country relocation in Journal of Wildlife Management)

New York: “Deer Harvest Down”

- deer are not being taken in the woods because they’re not in the woods. ... “They’re in everybody’s backyard. They’re not stupid … (57)


National News

Cull decision still under appeal, April 25, 2011

in courts most of the 2011.

Also Binghamton University,

Judge will review


Impact Study.


Urban Deer Management

Youtube video of deer going after dog in suburbs

leads to a series of deer culls in British Columbia


British Columbia wildlife biologist suggests

tightened leash laws one reason deer are entering suburbs, and that trained herding dogs could be used to create deer aversion to suburbs (59)

Some cities in Canada are experimenting with

the approach, some success (60)


Urban Deer Management


Urban Deer Management

Center for Disease Control and Disease

Ecologists conclude a deer cull is generally not shown to be effective against Lyme

- deer are a host for ticks, not for Lyme

- at least 125 other hosts for ticks, many of

which transmit Lyme

- deer eat tick habitat, some studies show

deer reduce incidence of Lyme (61)

This information has not spread to many local wildlife managers (62)



system reduces tick populations (63)

did not increase vehicle collisions

no increase in direct contact

Tick Extermination, a job for deer



1. Deer-Friendly Forests: An Interview With California Biologist Dave

Smith, September 29, 2010

2. Graphic from. Wallmo and Schoen (1981). Forest management for deer. Pages 434-457 in O.C. Wallmo, Ed. Mule and black-tailed deer of North America.

3. Deer Impacts Blog: CALIFORNIA NEWS: Black-tailed Deer in Decline ... By Tom Rooney 8/23/2010

4. Siskiyou supervisors: County targetsdeer hunting February 2. 2011 California Record-Searchlight

5. Yuba County says no to doe hunts January 17, 2012 California, Appeal-Democrat 

6. The best and worst outdoors stories of the year  December 30, 2011 California, Enterprise-Record, Steve Carson

7. DFG biologist says San Diego deer herd healthy, stable October 22, 2011 California,



8. DFG lambasted over move to eliminate game refuges May 4, 2011 California Management Plumas County Newspapers

9. Wildlife Commission and Dept. of Wildlife argue over mule deer ruling  May 27, 2011 Nevada Management Population MyNews4

10. Alaska Deer season to open Aug. , slow recovery in Northeast Chichagof July 28, 2011, Alaska, Juneau Empire

11. Deer numbers down October 7, 2011 Washington, Longview Daily News

12. Harsh winters cuts deer population January 3, 2012 Oregon, White Mt. News

13. White-tailed deer abundant; mule deer, elk, so-so September 8, 2011 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman

14. DWR says less deer permits this year saves number of bucks September 29, 2011 Utah, Fox 13 Now

15. New project aims to boost antelope herds January 11, 2012 Arizona, Nogales International

16. Hunters concerned about doe populations January 7, 2012 Montana, Daily Inter Lake



17. Mule deer numbers decline traced to increased oil and gas drilling September 24, 2011 Wyoming

18. Deer and antelope in Colorado's northern mountains declining, study warns August 9, 2011 Denver Post

19. Harsh winters, habitat loss hurts Plains hunting December 30, 2011 North Dakota,

20. Some feedback on feeding deer January 15, 2012 Maine, Lewiston Sun Journal

21. Proposal could put limits on deer hunting January 23, 2012 South Carolina, WIS 

22. Bucking the drought: While antlers were down a bit, deer harvest was about average January 19, 2012 Texas, San Antonio Express (blog)

23. Texas Deer Herd Status October 27, 2011 Texas,

24. Under the spreading chestnut tree December 19, 2011 Texas, Weatherford Democrat

25. illegal deer kill numbers January 8, 2012 The Michigan Sportsman Forums



26. Deer Hunting is Big Business in Wisconsin January 11, 2012 FOX 21 Online 

27. Green light to kill wolves creating a stir December 25, 2011 Michigan, Detroit Free Press

28. Lone wolf crosses into California December 29, 2011

29.Amendment would facilitate control of coyote populationJanuary 18, 2012 Virginia, Journal Press 


31. Researching the coyote January 29, 2012 New York, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

32. Trends affect deer hunting July 16, 2011 Texas San Angelo Standard Times

33. State may increase number of dear and elk hunting permits January 12, 2012 Washington, Longview Daily News 

34. Fish and Game revenue down as fewer nonresidents hunting Idaho elk and deer November 12, 2011, The Republic

35. Where have all the hunters gone? November 20, 2011 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune



36. Arizona hunting applications tumble August 6, 2011 Tucson Citizen

37. New Sightability Model Improves Accuracy of Mule Deer Census December 12, 2011 Texas


39. Wolves, deer could overshadow proposed license fee hike in Minnesota January 22, 2012   Grand Forks Herald

40. GPS-based 'Smart Collars' track deer travels near Highway 280 December 4, 2011 California, Mercury News

41. U of A study could reduce cars hitting deer June 29, 2011 Canada, Transportation, Edmonton Journal

42. Deer-Vehicle Collisions in U.S. on Steady Decline  November 1, 2011 Transportation, PropertyCasualty360

43. Drivers, beware: Deer-car collisions increase during hunting season  November 14, 2011 California, Sacramento Bee

44. . Deer in the headlights can kill you October  3, 2011 California Sacramento Bee



45. Wildlife crossing work on US 6 wins national award October 14, 2011 Utah, Deseret News

46. UDOT testing new snow fence in Eagle Mountain area  December 27, 2011 Utah, Daily Herald

47. Wildlife find path to safety under US roads January 2, 2012 Maryland, AFP 

48. Suburb cuts deer-car collisions by 25 percentNovember 23, 2011 Michigan, Plain Dealer. By Donna J. Miller

49. Deer Birth Control Could Prevent Collisions September 1, 2011 Discovery News

50. Reflectors Seem To Curb Deer Accidents April 6, 2011 Transportation

51. Court confirms: US Forest Service flubbed science by allowing logging in Tongass   August 6, 2011 Alaska,

52. Sierra Club opposing expansion of strip mine near Bryce Canyon December 8, 2011 Utah, The Durango Herald

53. Binghamton University plan to cull deer shot down by State Supreme Court January 30, 2012 New York, Binghamton University Pipe Dream



54. Assembly Approves End to Earn-a-Buck October 19, 2011 Wisconsin, Wisconsin Farm Bureau, By clangan

55. PA: Reaction mixed to doe panel bill  January 6, 2012 Outdoor News

56. In Town & Country, it's always deer season January 19, 2012

57. Deer Harvest Is Down January 19, 2012 New York, East Hampton Star

58. Deer to be culled after video exposes attack on dog December 2, 2011 Canada, British Columbia, The Spokesman Review (blog)

59. Part two: A wildlife biologist's continued musings about urban deer issues November 23, 2011 Canada, BCLocalNews, Bob Lincoln

60. Dogs enlisted to chase deer out of Watertontownsite June 6, 2011 Canada Urban Vancouver Sun


62. “Designing and Building a Knowledge Warehouse Oriented, Public Decision Support Site Using Free Google Tools:  An Analysis and Case Application to Deer Management”  Issues in Information Systems (2011)  Volume XII, No. 1. pp. 280-290.

63. Study: 4-poster devices can help control tick population  June 29, 2011  New York  The Suffolk Times