July 20, 2006

So many deer

deerToday we saw deer at least four times here in Bryce Resort. I even saw a pair of them a few hundred feet from the house this evening. The deer are eating local gardens but they are lovely to see.

The overpopulation of whitetail deer is a concern in Virginia. This was not always the case. Here's how the state's "Deer Management Plan" describes the growth in numbers:
"By 1900, over-harvest of deer for food and hides had nearly extirpated the species. Since the 1930s, Virginia's deer population has rebounded as a result of protective game laws, restocking of deer into areas where they were absent, and land use changes. Since the early 1990s, deer management objectives have switched from restoring and increasing to controlling and stabilizing populations over much of the Commonwealth.

Under optimal conditions, a deer population can double in size annually. With no regulating factor (e.g., predators, hunters), a deer population would expand to the point where some resources, generally food, would become scarce."


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