Who can resist doe eyes? Deer are truly beautiful animals with a special place in our natural areas and ecosystem. But deer numbers are higher than they’ve ever been historically. Deer no longer have any predators here, except hunters. Coyotes don’t bring down their numbers; they have easier food sources such as plentiful road kill, mice, rats, rabbits, fruits and wild berries.
As deer keep multiplying, these beautiful native animals cause serious health and safety concerns for themselves, for us and for our native habitats.
- Oakland County had 1750 car-deer collisions in 2014, the most in Michigan.
- Deer carry ticks, so more deer mean more ticks and tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Deer devour saplings and wildflowers on our forest floors, leaving them barren or filled with invasive plants. Having too many deer can change entire forest ecosystems.
- An overabundance of deer affects their health too as diseases are transmitted more easily within the herd.
What to do? Sterilizing females is expensive; it involves surgery. Hiring professional hunters distresses people. So, do we live with these dangers or do we find a solution?