Hunting Urban Deer

Due to human’s ever expanding population and our seemingly insatiable need to build new housing for our new family members, many outlying urban and suburban neighborhoods are encroaching on habitat that used to belong to the Whitetail Deer.

Whitetail deer are so adaptable and are very comfortable living in close proximity to humans.  These deer have discovered that these areas of new development make the perfect deer habitat since humans tend to plant all sorts of tasty foods in their flower beds and gardens and they tend to maintain parks and greenways that also provide excellent cover and food sources for the deer. Also, due to the lack of predation and the lack of hunting pressure, the populations of these urban and suburban deer are seemingly exploding in some areas.

However, surveys conducted amongst the residents of these urban and suburban areas often show that the residents of these areas do not initially favor allowing bow hunting or shotgun hunting in order to curtail the rising deer populations. But, in many areas, some sort of hunting program is inevitable because the rising deer population actually poses a significant threat to the local human population.

For instance, police accident reports have clearly demonstrated that the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by deer being blinded by a car’s headlights while crossing the road is drastically increasing in areas with rising deer populations (I have personally experienced this and it is not pleasant!). Not only do these deer related accidents cause significant property damage, they directly endanger the life of the driver and any passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

In addition, due to the lack of predators and the lack of hunting pressure, many urban and suburban deer populations are rising beyond the carrying capacity of the local habitat. Consequently, the resident deer populations in these areas are forced to feed not only on the natural plant species that are normally part of their diet, they are also causing significant property damage by feeding on ornamental plants in people’s yards as well as their vegetable gardens and this subsequent property damage is starting to create a considerable amount of ire toward this seemingly harmless animal.

Therefore, as the problem grows, many residents are forced to change their opinions about allowing hunters to harvest these over abundant deer populations despite the protests of small groups of residents and animal activists groups.

In fact, many counties in numerous states now have established urban and suburban bow hunting seasons in an effort to cull these exploding deer populations in order to reduce them to within the carrying capacity of the local habitats.

As the size of these resident herds is reduced by licensed bow hunters acting accordance with the established hunting regulations and hunting on privately owned properties with the permission of the land owner, I suspect that we could very well see a significant increase in the number of trophy bucks being harvested in urban and suburban areas.

If you are an avid archer who has little or no access to wilderness tracts and/or little or no inclination to spend the time necessary to locate and hunt deer in unpopulated wilderness areas,  you might want to consider examining your local deer hunting regulations to see if your state or county has an urban or suburban deer hunting season.

If so, then it might be a good idea for you to converse with your local wildlife biologist employed by your state wildlife commission to see if there any areas where residents are having a particularly difficult time with these urban and suburban deer populations and then, go knocking on a few doors to see if you can obtain permission from the land owner to hunt on their property.

After all, you just may find the largest trophy buck you have ever seen in your standing in your sights and blissfully unaware of your presence!


Written by quest

Bill Bernhardt

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