Hunting and Deer Reproduction. When hunting reduces the deer population there is more food for the remaining deer who generally have more fawns, more female fawns, and higher fawn survival rate - the Rebound Effect. Light to Moderate Hunting Does Not Reduce the Deer Population Over Time in an Otherwise Stable Environment. Populations Stabilize Near the Carrying Capacity

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Cost and Controversy in Managing Urban Deer, NHS Reports March-April 2000

"An additional complication in urban deer management is that per capita reproduction is density-dependent, meaning that the average number of fawns produced and reared by each doe increases as the total population decreases ... " -


Hunting only lowers deer numbers on a temporary basis. A study by Richter & Labisky, "Reproductive Dynamics and Disjunct White-tailed Deer Herds in Florida," in The Journal of Wildlife Management, determined that the "incidence of twinning was 38% on hunted herds and 14% on nonhunted sites."


Urban wildlife: There are humane alternatives to ineffective culls June 11, 2013 British Columbia, Vancouver Sun

... Nicholas Read, author of a book on urban wildlife ... American studies going back to 1951 have repeatedly found that with urban deer populations, per-capita reproduction is density dependent, so as population is decreased by slaughter, the number of fawns born and reared to maturity increases in inverse proportion to cull rates. It seems that the best way to stabilize urban wildlife populations might be to allow them to find a natural balance based on what the city environment will support ...


Green River Deer Population Appears Stable January 25, 2022 Wyoming, SweetwaterNOW

... The counts have been done each year with the help of volunteers, the local Game and Fish, and the Green River Police Department. Counts have been monitored to help determine if there is a need for a culling program similar to other communities. Jarvie said total deer numbers remain far below that of municipalities with culling programs but they will continue to monitor, count, and report...


Does Make Up For Losses Of Hunted Bucks November 28, 2000 Science Daily

... Labisky and colleagues examined the reproductive tracts of 380 legally harvested does from four areas of Florida. ... Males comprised 56 percent of the fetuses in the hunted areas but just 39 percent in the non-hunted areas, it found. As if that weren't enough, the researchers also found 38 percent of does on hunted sites carried twins, compared with just 14 percent on non-hunted sites....


Effect of Density Reduction on Overwinter Survival of Free-Ranging Mule Deer Fawns

Gary C. White and Richard M. Bartmann. The Journal of Wildlife Management Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1998) (pp. 214-225)

Understanding how overwinter survival of fawns changes as a function of density of deer is a critical relation for managing mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations. We examined change in overwinter survival of fawns in response to intentional density reduction by radiotracking fawns on control and treatment areas. Deer density on the treatment area was lowered about 75%, mostly from antlerless harvests in December. There were 7 years of pretreatment data, 4 years of harvest, and 3 more years of posttreatment monitoring. Fawn survival rate on the treatment area during the 3 winters after density was lowered averaged 0.16 higher (P = 0.001) than the control area. After density was lowered, body mass of fawns on the treatment area in November-December averaged 0.8 kg more than the control (P < 0.001)...


Reproductive Patterns of White-Tailed Deer Related to Nutritional Plane Louis J. Verme, The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Oct., 1969), pp. 881-887

... Productivity of low-diet yearlings and prime-age animals amounted to 0.62 and 1.36 fawns per doe, respectively, compared to rates of 1.63 and 1.80 for high-diet deer. Males comprised 70 percent of the births from physically mature mothers on low diet when bred, whereas males constituted 46.7 percent of the offspring conceived by does on high diet..


A text titled "Wildlife Ecology and Management" by Eric Bolen William Robinson states quite clearly: "The general theory of harvesting animals is based on the premise that when animals are not harvested at all, growth and recruitment are balanced by natural mortality and that the average growth rate of a population at its carrying capacity is zero. Harvesting reduces the population size, but the reduction results in an increase in the growth rate of the population. This increase in growth rate is brought about because of higher birth rates and lower death rates resulting from decreased competition for resources. This increased growth rate provides a surplus of individuals above the number required to replace the population, and this surplus can be harvested."


Deer are not our enemy December 14, 2018 Delaware County Daily Times ·

... Compensatory rebound: “Hunted populations breed earlier in the year, conceive at a younger age, have more young, lower neonatal mortality, higher fawn survival” (Verme, 1969, Woolf & Harder, 1979, Miller & Ozoga, 1997). Result: Perpetual killing, after which numbers bounce back...


Declining Ovulation Rates in Certain Populations May 22, 2019 Colorado, Pagosa Daily Post

... from a study titled Mule Deer Management in Texas, published by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Deer herd nutrition, as it relates to reproduction, is important to the land manager. Successful breeding depends largely upon the doe’s health during the rut. The ovulation rate is strongly affected by the doe’s level of nutrition and physical condition just prior to and during the rutting period. The doe’s nutritional condition during gestation has an effect upon the size and survival of fawns at birth...


Little change in Doe permits July 30, 2017 Indiana, South Bend Tribune

... Indiana deer biologist Joe Caudell ... said deer respond to their environment. If there’s a lot of good habitat, the females produce multiple fawns and those fawns survive into the next year. “I know this sounds odd, but fewer deer in an area often produces more deer the next year,” he added. “When there is a drop in the population we see more and healthier does born in the spring.” ...


Big deer year expected across East Texas after wet spring November 1, 2015 Tyler Morning Telegraph

... removing excess deer this year will typically result in better fawn crops next year. “Every year is a year to kill does.,, They are scared they are going to decimate their deer density, but the opposite happens. By knocking down the breeding population you are going to have more groceries available, and are going to have a better fawn crop,” Cain said. [Alan Cain, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s white-tailed deer program leader.]


City to ask G&F for deer culling permit December 22, 2017 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise

... Comparing the 47 deer found dead in Cody this year with the 51 does the CPD harvested Jan. 9-Feb. 9, Smith said the city hadn’t made much progress toward reduction with the culling... According to the G&F, there are 64 fawns per 100 does in Cody. “That’s much higher than we see outside the city limits ...


Mt. Vernon, Deer season open in Mt. Vernon October 1, 2014 Illinois, Mt. Vernon Register-News

... The City Council approved bow hunting in the city limits in 2011 ... “We’re getting rid of 20 to 25 deer a year with the hunting program, which actually means we are reducing the number of deer by 50 to 75 the next year. It’s more common now for deer to have twins as opposed to single births.” ...


City of Galena conducts annual deer count February 2, 2022 Illinois, Telegraph Herald

... 140 deer were counted ... 2018 count found 136 ... In 2019, 211 .. and in 2020 ... 200... [stable to declining population]


Wilton: Deer control: Hunting alone is not getting it done January 8, 2012 Connecticut, Wilton Bulletin

... Wilton's density of deer is presently about 69 deer per square mile, based on the Department of Environmental Protection's flyover count.... "If we harvest 300 a year it could take us maybe seven years.... But of course that does not include baby deer, which tend to come in twos." [Wilton's deer cull program has been in place since 2000].


Mother Nature gives Ohio deer harvest a boost January 30, 2016 Cleveland Plain Dealer

... Deer management supervisor Mike Tonkovich ... does have an average of 1.5 fawns each year when populations are low to moderate and food sources are plentiful... the average has been only .7 or .8 fawns per doe in recent years...


Mother Nature gives Ohio deer harvest a boost January 30, 2016 Cleveland Plain Dealer

... Deer management supervisor Mike Tonkovich ... does have an average of 1.5 fawns each year when populations are low to moderate and food sources are plentiful... the average has been only .7 or .8 fawns per doe in recent years...


Watchung, Fifty Deer Killed in Watchung's Hunting Season February 15, 2013 New Jersey, Patch.com

... Killing does is the primary way to control the population, [Councilman] Franklin said. Through this year's hunt, 38 fetuses were killed, he said—some had twins and one doe had triplets ... When the borough had its first deer hunt, professional hunters were hired. But now ... the borough relies on sportsmen and clubs like the Warren Blue Ridge Sportsmen [this is a effectively a recreational hunt] ...


Springbrook Prairie, Deer population program begins November 5, 2013 Illinois, Naperville Sun

...Waterfall Glen, near Darien, has had a deer management program for 22 years ...An aerial census done each winter ... Reproductive rates — which show 95 percent of the adult females taken out are pregnant with two fawns ...

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Genetic diversity and population structure in urban white‐tailed deer JA Blanchong, AB Sorin, KT Scribner - The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2013

... We compared genetic diversity and structure among deer in 2 urban metroparks with deer in a fenced reserve and with deer from an open, continuously distributed population to inform urban deer management. If urban deer maintain species' typical matrilineal genetic structure, removal of female groups may effectively reduce local abundance. However, if gene flow in urban areas is high, dispersal may impede efforts to reduce abundance. Although genetic diversity was high and mean relatedness was near zero in all locations, distributions of pairwise relatedness in urban metroparks and the fenced reserve contained greater proportions of closely and distantly related deer than the open locations, likely attributable to matrilineal structure....


Lewis Morris Park struggles to restore forest habitat September 29, 2012 New Jersey, Dailyrecord.com

... the county park commission has for 16 years tried to manage through a controlled hunting program... When Lewis Morris Park initially was surveyed in 1996, there were 63.2 deer per square mile... From late August to early October 2009, they conducted eight spotlight deer surveys in Lewis Morris and adjacent land in the Washington Valley section of the township and reported nearly 65 deer per square mile... Does in Lewis Morris produce two to three babies a year ...


Harsh winters, habitat loss hurts Plains hunting December 30, 2011 North Dakota, Boston.com... Three brutal winters and a steady loss of habitat ... Mule deer typically produce from 0.8 to 1.2 fawns per doe, but last year that number dropped to 0.59 fawns, ... said Randy Kreil, wildlife chief of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department ... "They may be pregnant going into the winter, but they're just not able to bring the fawn to birth ... they will reabsorb the fetus and use the energy to stay alive. If you have that happen three years in a row, you really limit the amount of new animals coming into the population."


Quality vs. Quantity, A Closer Look at Deer Herd Condition Trends in Ohio Ohio Department of Natural Resources

... Because they are the most sensitive to environmental stressors (both biological and sociological), the pregnancy status of doe fawns serves as an ideal indicator of overall deer herd condition. As deer numbers increase and/or habitat quality declines, fewer doe fawns will attain the necessary body condition to reproduce...


Tyler State Park, If deer hunts worked, there would be fewer deer December 9, 2012 Burlington County Times

This is the 25th consecutive year that Tyler State Park officials have sanctioned the slaughter of deer. This fact demonstrates the futility of the hunt, because if it truly worked to reduce the population, the hunt would not have to be repeated year after year... Verne Smith, a professor who teaches animal law at Widener University says, "Hunting decreases the herd one year and increases it the next. It's called compensatory rebound and the DCNR knows these facts. Wildlife scientists showed that twin-fawn births were almost three times greater in hunted herds. Hunting provides the PGC with license revenues and residents with a feeling that something is being done about deer numbers...


Iowa City should say no to urban bow hunt December 24, 2018 Iowa City Press Citizen

... "Following several years of urban bow hunts in Muscatine, when twice as many deer were taken than the previous year, but the herd grew by more than a third, DNR depradation biologist, Greg Harris, said he didn’t have an explanation for the unexpected growth...


Aerial deer survey results March 5, 2014 Connecticut, The Redding Pilot

... the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) conducted helicopter aerial deer surveys of four square miles in February 2013 and six square miles in January 2014... Average estimated deer density pre-sharpshoot and post state-regulated hunting season on the four square miles in 2013 was just over 30 deer/square mile. Average estimated deer density on four square miles on non-deer reduction areas (two CDC sites, two non-CDC sites) in 2014 was 34 deer/square mile...


Cody, Urban Deer Population Remains Stable December 26, 2017 Wyoming, mybighornbasin.com

... there are approximately 242 deer in the town herd, as compared to 258 last year. And that’s after the Police Department, through a special permit from Game and Fish, killed 51 deer in February... the Council now has to decide whether the expense of the culling process is justifiable, considering how little impact the project had this year...

Wilton: Deer control: Hunting alone is not getting it done January 8, 2012 Connecticut, Wilton Bulletin

... Wilton's density of deer is presently about 69 deer per square mile, based on the Department of Environmental Protection's flyover count.... "If we harvest 300 a year it could take us maybe seven years.... But of course that does not include baby deer, which tend to come in twos." [Wilton's deer cull program has been in place since 2000].

Upper Makefield hires deer managment company February 6, 2013 Pennsylvania, phillyBurbs.com

... Eccologists killed 1,024 deer in Upper Makefield between 2007 and 2010 and thinned the population down to about 90 deer per square mile, said company co-owner Eric Schade. It's now climbed back up to about 125 per square mile ...


Ridgefield, Selectmen approve deer hunt October 2, 2014 Connecticut, The Ridgefield Press

... state officials had told them the town would have to continue to reduce the herd by about 300 deer a year in order to see a significant population decline, or to be able to change from aggressive culling to a maintenance operation. “You’re saying you have to hunt 300 deer forever,” said Selectwoman Barbara Manners ..


Medina trying to control deer population March 14, 2016 Ohio, Medina County Gazette

...“When you cull a herd, within one to three years the herd re-creates,” Lamb said. “The city of Solon in 2003-04 killed 1,000 deer. It cost them $500,000. In 2006, they had to cull the deer again because it had completely regenerated.” ...


Stevens Point looking at new option to cut deer population November 14, 2013 WAOW

... "culling" to harvest antlerless deer. City leaders said they've been doing it for about 17 years ... "We've been doing it quite regularly, we think that the number of deer is roughly the same as it was," said Elbert Rackow, Stevens Point Deer Management Committee... looking for a new way to cut down on deer in the city...


Princeton, Use humane way to thin Princeton deer herds November 5, 2014 New Jersey, The Times, Trenton - NJ.com

... Now in its 15th year, former Princeton Township Mayor Phyllis Marchand's vile five-year plan to decimate Princeton's deer will apparently go on ad infinitum and has already soaked the town's taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars...


Conserving Tradition Inc. Opposes Federal Government's Proposed 13361% Increase in Mass Killings in New York State January 15, 2016 New York, PR Newswir

... With Wildlife Services often paid for mass deer killings directly by municipalities, local taxpayers are expected to be burdened with a minimum of $300 per deer killed by the Federal Government. Moreover, according to the Federal Government, the impact of these mass deer killings, would only be temporarily effective in reducing local deer populations: " ...


Declining deer population likely due to natural regulation May 31, 2021 Japan, Mirage News

...Scientists have shown that the population of the Yakushima sika deer has declined due to natural factors, suggesting that the population can be regulated without culling ... a subspecies of the Japanese sika deer (Cervus nippon), evolved without natural predators on the island of Yakushima ...


Culling deer ineffective conservationists say, so let's try birth control April 29, 2014 Ohio, Examiner

... the city of Solon, Ohio, spent almost $1 million annually of tax payer money to cull approximately 300 deer ... One reason culling is ineffective is that “Deer also have the biological ability to regenerate themselves under hunted conditions ... Residents of Solon also complained the US Wildlife Service was indiscriminate in gunning down a high number of bucks, when culling should have been does-only ...



Same for Mountain Lions

Study prompts Washington to revamp cougar hunting September 26, 2012 Summit County Citizens Voice

... Whether hunters killed 10 percent or 35 percent of cougars, the population remained the same... Based on the the 13-year study, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is implementing a new cougar management plan based on equilibrium management. Hunters will remove no more than the surplus of animals that would be generated through natural reproduction ... the 13-year study headed by Rob Wielgus, director of WSU’s Large Carnivore Conservation Lab, has overturned that presumption...


And Coyotes


Are coyotes affecting local fawn recruitment? January 22, 2017 Ohio, Sandusky Register

... In a South Carolina study area, coyotes were aggressively removed for three years by trappers ... Compensatory reproduction results when coyote densities are low and prey levels are high. They breed younger, as yearlings and litter size and pup survival rates increase. Coyote control was most effective in the winter by limiting the number of surviving pairs available to repopulate the area that following spring. However, they concluded that coyote control was ineffective in the long run and expensive to maintain...


Killing coyotes may actually hurt deer herd August 26, 2015 Mississippi, Press & Sun-Bulletin

... Mississippi State University professor Bruce Leopold who said ... if the local coyote population is hit hard, it can respond very quickly to reduced numbers, and female may crank out that maximum of 10 to 12 pups in a litter instead of two or three...


Coyote hunt for Walker FD a success January 20, 2016 Missouri, Nevada Herald

... [Missouri Department of Conservation biologist Chris Daniel] said that the coyote population tends to manage itself. When the population is low, coyotes will give birth to more pups, and when the population is high, they will have fewer... organized hunts such as this are not a threat to the coyote population...


Killing Coyotes Is Not As Effective As Once Thought, Researchers Say June 14, 2019 Wyoming, NPR

... Mule deer populations around the West are down — 31 percent since 1991 ... some studies show that if you kill off a lot of coyotes, they breed even more. "Oftentimes, coyote control programs have been implemented, and in some, or many, instances the effects were negligible," ...




Hunting has increased deer population, not reduced it Greenwich Time. September 3, 2010.

... It is very difficult to grasp the logic of the Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance working closely with the state ...


Medina trying to control deer population March 14, 2016 Ohio, Medina County Gazette

...“When you cull a herd, within one to three years the herd re-creates,” Lamb said. “The city of Solon in 2003-04 killed 1,000 deer. It cost them $500,000. In 2006, they had to cull the deer again because it had completely regenerated.” ...