Response To
'Where Have Deer
Gone' Surprising
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Guess I am not the only one noticing the deer population reduction. I had believed that it was only on my mountain, Taconic Hills Hudson Valley.
From: Rick
Hello, I'm very familiar with you from my daily reading of articles on I have to concur with your observation of a reduced deer population.
I live in the Finger Lakes Region of NY in Livingston County and have experienced seeing fewer deer. I have lived in this rural location for ten years and the past two - especially this year - have shown about a 70% reduction of deer.
I have 70 acres of alfalfa - which deer love - and a good supply of water and cover of woods for them, so they are content living here. I do not believe they "move on" either, as stated by someone you mentioned in your article.
Another factor that helps me determine the population is my strict "No Hunting - No Tresspassing" deer are not pushed off the land by hunting pressures.
The deer I do observe do not seem to display any difficulty walking about that may suggest a neurological condition. But the fact remains, there is a significant reduction in population here. As a sidenote, I have seen an abrupt increase of Opossum and Skunks this year with some pretty bold moves exhibited by them coming near the house. Thought this might be of interest to you.
From Jill
Hi There,
We have all noticed the same thing down here in Virginia. All of the hunters have noticed, too.
I work on a 65 acre property which last year had About 8-9 deer on a regular basis. Now we have only one left. No tree rubbings or anything. No deer found dead either.
And Jeff, here is another one from Finger Lakes region, NY State.
I cannot understand why Fish and Wildlife simply ignored my plea when I tried to report the deer loss. They simply said the deer 'moved on' due to shortening length of daylight. That is utterly ridiculous and an insult to my intelligence.
I have been doing this work (keeping and rehabilitating deer) for almost a decade here on the same property. The free-ranging deer have food, water and I even planted a good supply of winter forage to support far more free rangers than I had. No, the majority of deer NEVER MOVED ON in previous years. As many of the emails that I've sent to you concur, there is something wrong with deer populations.
Let's say that they have 'moved on'...then one would ask WHY this year? Many of the deer that I have now been taking care of had been here for over 5 or 6 years. Why would they 'move on' this year when most stayed all year round previously? Is there going to be an environmental disaster in the State? If so, it would go as far south as Virginia as the email shows.
IF deer populations have been reduced 70-75%, one would have to make a serious case for some kind of infectious illness. CWD and even rabies should not decimate the populatons to such an extent as 75% in any one area. This is indeed a mystery.
Hunters can help by reporting their observations to FWD or other State agency. If they do harvest deer I would suggest that they not eat the meat until lab tests results are made known. I would also suggest that blood work be done as well. There could be an infectious disease spreading among deer populations...and it might just be zoonotic.
From John
I own a winery on Seneca lake and have 100 acres and this year the deer are about 75% less? Why? I just don't know , but when you are used to seeing 75 in the field and now you see 4 to 10 something's wrong. I just don't know what and you don't see the deer on the road hit like in years past they are gone?



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