Date of this Version
During the last 10 years the presence of deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in suburban areas has become an increasing concern from the standpoint of damage and nuisance problems. It is unclear whether (a) overall deer numbers in suburban environments have increased (possibly because of residential development in "natural" settings and creation of food sources represented by residents' ornamental plantings and vegetable gardens), (b) more development in suburban areas has forced deer into adjacent remaining patches of suitable habitat, resulting in increased deer densities in certain localities, or (c) some combination of both. Regardless of the factors perpetrating the situation, deer have become a problem--sometimes less real than perceived--in many suburban areas of the central and eastern U.S. This brief paper will present views of suburban residents who have experienced deer damage problems and a perspective on why suburban deer management may be a growing controversy, and a management dilemma.