Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version



As in many states, wildlife managers and biologists in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife (BOW) set white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population objectives in deer management units (DMUs). BOW has authority to regulate deer harvest through a deer management permit quota system. Decisions about regulating deer population levels have a direct impact on stakeholders concerned with the degree of damage to field and vegetable crops, orchards, nurseries, tree plantations, gardens, and ornamental shrubbery. Deer densities also affect economic and recreational benefits derived by other stakeholders. Developing management strategies that address these conflicting interests is a challenge. In 1990, BOW biologists and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) agents developed, organized, and implemented 15 DMU Citizen Task Forces (CTFs) throughout New York State. CTF members reflected a variety of stakeholder interests (e.g., agriculturalists, sportsmen, rural nonfarm landowners, foresters, Christmas tree growers, taxidermists, motorists, environmentalists, legislators). CCE agents facilitated the meetings, and BOW provided technical information concerning deer and deer management.