NY Hunter Asks 'Where
Have All The Deer Gone?'
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello Jeff - Some of the regular yearly hunters have begun to show up in the field across the road ready to go up the mountain and hunt for deer.
One hunter, who comes here every year, asked me "where are all of the deer?" He was amazed that in the two days he spent here, over 8 hours a day, he saw NO deer.
I told him I think they all died with the exception of a few. The only original deer left is Mamma and her triplets. I noticed that the hunter did not return. I told him that he might see some as there are a few newcomers to the area however he chose not to return. Guess he thought it over and taking deer from an area where 9 or more perished of disease just wasn't worth the risk for him.
I did see three new females and one buck in the area. This area used to be awash in deer. I had an estimated 15 regular free-rangers during winter, and even more free-ranging deer coming in for an occasional handout. This is amazing.
The skunk population seems to be repopulating as I now have four who eat here regularly. There are two new, very healthy looking fat raccoons who come around. That is about it, however.
When the hunters notice that there is something odd...and there is an absence of deer...then I would say Fish and Wildlife's excuse of deer 'moving on' is bogus. Sure, some do move on but most stay because they have food and water all winter. They even have winter forage area on my property.
If any hunters do get deeer in my area, it will be interesting to see if any are positve for CWD or rabies. Hunters in NY State now must submit deer heads for testing as part of the CWD testing.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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