Following is an excerpt from an article written by Larry Whitely for Bass
"If I were to ask you what you thought America's deadliest big game animal
was, what would you say? This animal kills or injures more people every year
than any other animal. Would you say the grizzly bear or maybe the mountain
lion? You would probably be very surprised when I told you that the
white-tailed deer not only causes more human deaths and injuries but also
causes more damage and destruction than any other big game animal.
Over 120 people are killed in the United States each year in deer-related
car crashes, and hundreds more are injured. This far surpasses the few
deaths and injuries caused by mountain lions and grizzly bears.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, average cost of damage to
each of the 300,000 vehicles involved in collisions with deer each year is
over $600, totaling more than $180 million.
Deer cause enormous damage to farm crops and suburban landscaping as well.
Biologists studying declining bird populations, including woodcock, believe
there is a link to the consumption of habitat by deer.
Another growing problem caused by deer is Lyme disease and two new diseases,
Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis, all three carried by deer ticks. About 10,000
new cases of Lyme disease alone are reported in the United States annually.
These tick bites are not just coming from the deep woods but from people's
backyards in their urban neighborhoods.
Sixty-five years ago it would have been laughable to imagine too many deer
in North America. There was even concern at that time that they would soon
be extinct. Today there are more than 25 million white-tailed deer and 5
million mule deer in the United States, and the populations continue to
The cause of the deer population explosion is multifaceted. Foremost, state
conservation departments have for decades been successfully managing deer
for hunting by providing the animals with food, cover and protection.
Additionally the 65 million people who feed birds in their backyards have
also successfully managed deer by unwittingly providing optimum habitat.
Nature has also had a hand in the success. Prior to the 1980s, winter kill
was a part of the deer management formula. But the mild winters in the past
decade have resulted in very little mortality.
The only effective way to reduce deer populations is to cull them,
preferably by hunting. Many conservation departments have dramatically
increased their deer permits for both residents and non-residents.
This can help, but more controversial is how to control deer in urban and
suburban areas and people's backyards where public hunting is either not
permitted or is impractical. Numerous methods of control have been
attempted, from trapping to contraceptives, but except for shooting the deer
outright, nothing has proven effective.
Urban deer task forces consisting of cross sections of community interests
continue to grapple with the problem of what to do with America's deadliest
and most destructive big game animal."
> Interesting that y'all view the problem as too many deer, rather than too
> many people.
> Linda in Wyoming
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