Deer Management Alternatives Reviewed by
As part of its mission, the recently formed Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance will continue to review all management tools available to local governments and private citizens working on deer management. These will be evaluated on their effectiveness and feasibility to achieve long-term management goals.
“One of the goals of the
The overabundant deer population in
Three management strategies for reducing deer herd size are hunting, birth control, and relocation. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection discusses these options in a booklet entitled Managing Urban Deer in Connecticut. The concept of trap and relocation appeals to many residents, but the logistics and costs of such an initiative are problematic. Costs can range from $400 to $3,000 per animal, however, even if the taxpayer is willing to bear the cost, there no longer remain any suitable places for deer to be released. More importantly, DEP’s booklet states that “Studies have shown that about half of all deer trapped and relocated die from capture-related stress and from wandering extensive distances after release, resulting in road mortality.”
Research on birth control is ongoing but no contraceptive vaccine for wildlife has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA approval is necessary as there is potential for any vaccine used on wildlife to get into the food chain and our food supply. To date, research success has been limited to captive and/or semi-isolated deer herds, and attempts have failed on free-ranging herds. “This is one area of deer management that we are watching closely,” explains Patricia Sesto, Director of Environmental Affairs for
With these two management options out of contention, population reduction through lethal methods is the only alternative available. To this end, several