Why is the Deer Population Surging?

The deer population has surged in recent decades, creating problems for both people and plants.

It’s hard to imagine, but less than 100 years ago, the deer population was so low that some states instituted deer management programs to help increase the deer population. In the 1930’s, there were approximately 300,000 deer nationwide. Today, estimates put that number around 30 million.

Why the staggering increase? There are several reasons:

• Suburban Development. Today’s suburban landscape actually favors deer. Since they feed on low-growing plants, they find the most to eat on the forest edge and suburban back yards. Subdivisions interspersed with wooded areas offer deer a habitat much more to their liking than deep forest or open farmland.

• Reduced Hunting. Between increased regulation, less open space and other factors, hunting has declined dramatically over the years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the number of hunters has dropped by over 40% since 1980.

• Fewer Predators. Historically, wolves have kept the deer population in check, but their numbers have dwindled to the verge of extinction in many areas. Coyotes and bears sometimes prey on deer, especially fawns. But their numbers have also decreased in the suburban areas where deer thrive.

The surging deer population spells trouble on many fronts.

Deer-vehicle collisions have risen in recent years. An estimated 1.5 million such collisions occur each year, causing injuries, deaths, and some $1 billion per year in vehicle damage.

Then, there’s the problem of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Deer serve as hosts to ticks and frequently carry them in close contact with people and pets.

Finally, voracious deer ravage the landscape. The average deer consumes a tremendous amount – about 3,000 pounds of food per year. That’s enough to destroy an awful lot of prized perennial beds.

To keep deer away from your yard, and help protect your garden from deer browse damage and your family from tick-borne diseases, try Bobbex Deer Repellent. In an independent study, it’s been rated more effective than other leading repellents, second only to a physical fence. You can’t get a better combination of effectiveness and affordability.

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