image: Deer OverpopulationWhat Can You Do About Deer Overpopulation?

Many of my clients in Oregon deal with deer overpopulation.  This manifests in deer coming onto their property and eating their plants.  When you invest in delicious food-producing plants, you want to eat them, not watch them be decimated by deer.  I recently advised a client who reached out with questions about how to deal with a lot of deer in her neighborhood doing exactly this.

The problem of deer overpopulation is in truth an issue of wildlife mismanagement.  Deer are a problem because their predators have been removed from the system.  I highly recommend advocating for protections for natural predators such as cougars, bears, and wolves.  These animals rarely attack humans and are vital to a healthy regional ecosystem.

To get started on a path to fixing the problem of too many deer, I recommend reading the results of reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone.   These majestic and intelligent natural forest managers allowed tree saplings to survive the dangerous window where the out-of-control elk population there were eating them down to the ground.  They also helped restore precious beaver populations and more.

Wolves have been maligned by the media, popular stories like Little Red Riding Hood, and marginalized by the ranching lobby.  Citizens need to stand up as advocates to balance what our elected officials hear, because if we do not, all they have is the corporate lobby in their ears.  One of the senators I corresponded with in Oregon confirmed this to me in no uncertain terms, while you can also find evidence of this in the strange case of corporate personhood.  Writing to elected officials and asking for regulation of such practices is an effective way to influence wildlife mismanagement.

One issue near and dear to my heart is standing up against Wildlife Services’ merciless killing of millions of animals every year in our national forests.  A not very well-known bureau of the US government (I mentioned them to a Fish and Wildlife officer near Salem last year and she had never heard of them), they use taxpayer dollars, and their methods are inhumane.

I also recommend supporting the following groups, which target issues affecting wildlife:  the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Oregon Wild if you live there, the California Wolf Center, or your local area wildlife conservation organization.

Understanding the landscape as a system is my approach to all so-called pest problems.  While mainstream commercial and special interest operations favor so-called solutions that boost their profits, restoring balance to the larger landscape is the only way to truly address the overpopulation of one species over others.  Citizen involvement may take a bit of time and effort, but it is necessary to address the root of the deer issue.

To get a plan for rebalancing your property’s ecology and keeping deer out of your yard, work with us.