Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the 15th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (J. B. Armstrong, G. R. Gallagher, Eds). 2013. Pp. 9-10.


Dramatic growth in numbers of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and declines in hunter recruitment have challenged our ability to manage deer populations through traditional methods. We surveyed all state wildlife agencies and estimate the current abundance of white-tailed deer in North America exceeds 30 million. States currently are issuing record numbers of permits to hunters to increase harvest of white-tailed deer. Unfortunately, hunter participation has been declining in North America during the past two decades. Traditional methods of population management have been ineffective in reducing numbers of deer sufficiently in some environments. Regulated commercial harvest would help state wildlife agencies manage overabundant populations of white-tailed deer and allow licensed hunters to sell all or parts of harvested deer. We anticipate that many will criticize regulated commercial harvest of deer and claim that it is contrary to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAMWC). We feel, however, that regulated commercial harvest meets all seven of the pillars of the NAMWC