Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Volume 2, Number 1, Pages 102–109, Spring 2008. Published and copyright by Jack H. Berryman Institute. http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/journal/index.html


Burgeoning deer populations in urban and suburban areas, along with the inherent problems stemming from this increase, are becoming increasingly widespread. To address these problems, wildlife biologists need quality baseline data of herd composition for harvest and treatment forecasts for management and fertility control research programs. In this study, we provide white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population data from 4 areas where localized suburban white-tailed deer populations were substantially reduced utilizing sharpshooting as a management tool. In each area, legal hunting was nonexistent for >10 years preceding the sharpshooting program. The areas ranged in size from 300 ha to 3,000 ha. We annually culled from 124 to 566 deer per area and reduced herds by 35% to 90% in a given year. Biological traits were gathered from harvested deer (n = 3,242) at each site to ascertain herd demographics and fitness. The results from these harvest programs indicate that sex and age structure of non-hunted deer populations are fairly uniform and predictable. There were consistently 60% females and 40% males in these environments. Also, these deer populations were comprised of ~40% yearling and adult females, ~20% yearling and adult males, and ~40% fawns.