Prince William Forest Park Deer Survey December 12, 2013 Virginia

Virginia Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

Prince William Forest Park conducts bi-annual white-tailed deer surveys to count the number of deer in the park, and to gauge the health of the piedmont forest. The deer have a direct impact on the availability of seeds, the growth of plants, and the availability of food for other mammals and species around the park. By following population trends within the park, the Prince William Forest Park Biologist can predict seasonal impacts of other species and plants. Typically, the biologist surveys with a team of 3-6 park employees. Starting with a safety briefing and proper behavior along the survey, the counters then load in the truck and keep their eyes peeled for deer. Surveyors try to keep track of whether the deer is a buck, doe, or fawn, the number of deer in a group, and the distance of the deer from Scenic Drive. For this survey, many of the deer were concentrated near one of Prince William Forest Park's popular family campgrounds. If you happen to be camping out there, a peek out the tent flap and perhaps a buck would be sitting right outside! - Virginia, December 12, 2013

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