Antietam National Battlefield using sharpshooters to control deer herd, Herald Mail-Media, March 3, 2017“Deer eat a variety of plants, including young trees,” Jeremy K. Barnum, public affairs officer with the National Park Service, wrote in an email. “The overpopulation of white-tailed deer on the battlefield has caused harm to the resources by limiting forest regeneration and structure in the forest canopy. This has created an ‘unhealthy’ forest where invasive exotic species thrive, which has a negative effect on bird populations and other wildlife species.” Park officials, who conducted a deer-population survey in the fall of 2015, determined that there were about 200 deer per square mile, or 600 deer, on the battlefield, according to park service documents.
Md. teen shoots a buck that stormed into his living room and trashed a Christmas tree, Washington Post, Dec 16 2016A 17-year-old in Frederick, Md., shot and killed a deer after it stormed his house and attacked his Christmas tree. Though it’s not clear why, Manchester speculated that the buck stormed the house through its solid oak front door because a doe had marked the Christmas tree, which was cut down at a local tree farm, with her scent.
PETA Member Appeals Court Decision Allowing Deer Hunt, Bethesda Magazine, Oct 3, 2016Organization argues bow hunting violates Maryland cruelty code
More deer with chronic wasting disease reported, with one outside of a CWD management area, PA Live, March 26, 2016The Maryland Department of Natural Resources found another five deer with chronic wasting disease in Allegany County, just south of Bedford County in southwestern Pennsylvania. The location of the five new cases in Maryland is south of the area of Pennsylvania that has seen 17 free-ranging deer with CWD since 2013. Seven of those deer were uncovered last year.
Five Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, CSD-Info.org, March 28, 2016The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has received laboratory confirmation that five white-tailed deer harvested in Allegany County tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a neurological disease in deer, bringing the total overall cases to 11. “Given that this disease is now present in the region, our wildlife biologists will continue to work diligently to document and monitor its presence, which, so far, has been limited to Allegany County. We urge citizens to only consume the meat of deer that appear healthy.”
Park Service to Resume Deer Shooting to Control Population, Newsplex, Dec 1, 2015The National Park Service says the white-tailed deer management program at Rock Creek Park will resume with shooters reducing the herd.
NIH’s Solution to Campus Overrun With Deer: Give Them Ovariectomies, Washington Free Beacon, Dec 1, 2015The contract would require female deer to be anesthetized and “transported to a central location to perform surgical procedures – ovariectomy.” “All animals are administered a reversal agent and monitored during recovery,” the agency said. “All surgically ovariectomized females will be treated for pain control as well as for potential infection.”
Officials: Maryland firearms season controls deer population, 4YourState.com, Nov 30, 2015“Population control has become very important, so you’ll have specialized seasons for different weapons for archery, for muzzleloader, for black-powder, and of course, some of the areas require a different type of firearm because of the density of the population,” he said. Deer officials said during the deer firearms season, white-tail bucks, does and any deer that has reached maturity can be taken. The deer firearms season will last until Dec. 13.
Judge Says Maryland Deer Hunt Is On, WCBC Radio, Sept 16, 2015PETA’s legal attempt served only to temporarily delay the hunt, which was originally scheduled to begin Sept. 11, the same day as the regular Maryland archery deer season. As a result, the bowhunts designed to control the problematic deer population began and will continue through Oct. 21.
The hunt will mark the first time the parks department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will use archers to safely cull the county’s deer population.
Hunting in Maryland: 11 Things to Know About Urban Deer and Hunting in Cities and Suburbs, Newsmax, May 26, 2016 For archers in the Suburban Deer Archery Zone, the bag limit is unlimited for antlerless deer. Because of urban sprawl, the safety zone for all archery hunters was reduced in 2013 to 100 yards in Harford County.
Four Maryland Deer Test Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, Maryland Dept Natural Resources, Jan 20, 2015The Maryland Department of Natural Resources received laboratory confirmation on January 16, 2015 that four additional white-tailed deer harvested in Maryland tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), bringing the total number of overall positive cases to six. The deer, all male, were harvested in the CWD Management Area in Allegany County during the regular deer firearm season.
Fort Meade targets hundreds of deer, Capital Gazette, Jan 15, 2015Fort Meade estimates the population is now about 152 deer per square mile — seven times what wildlife experts consider a healthy level. The Army hopes the deer hunt, set to start Jan. 26, will start bringing the number down to 20 deer per square mile. Doyle said the plan is to cull up to 200 deer this year and another 200 next year.
Safety top priority during deer cull, SoundOff, Jan 15, 2015The safety of Fort Meade employees, residents and visitors will be a top priority when the installation’s deer reduction operations begin Jan. 26.
The goal for this year is to remove up to 200 deer, including antlered and uniantlered deer, with the objective of reaching a population of less than 20 deer per square mile. According to deer surveys, the population on post is estimated to be 152 deer per square mile.
At the NIH, white-tailed deer get sterilized in luxurious surgery rooms, Washington Press, Dec 24, 2014“It’s going to be hard going back to the old folding card table,” said DeNicola, who is president of a conservation nonprofit that promotes surgical sterilization as a way to control deer populations.
DeNicola has already spayed a herd in a Baltimore suburb, where a population boom has stabilized. And in Fairfax City, he conducted Virginia’s first ovary-removal program when his team operated on 18 female deer in the police garage. The procedures, which cost about $1,000 per doe, are being paid by private donors.
“It’s still really about the science,” said DeNicola, who has a doctorate in wildlife biology. “The more locations we work in, the better we understand the technique.”
The 322-acre fenced NIH campus makes for an appealing field study. A herd of nearly 40 deer lives on the grounds, co-existing with more than 18,000 employees and contractors during the workday. The herd is mostly enclosed, though some wily bucks and does apparently slip in and out, probably through entrance gates.
NIH Will Neuter Deer To Limit Population On Bethesda Campus, Bethesda Now, Dec 5, 2014For many NIH employees, the presence of white-tailed deer on the Bethesda campus is a welcome sight, offering a rural feel in our otherwise urban setting. For others, deer in the roadway blocking traffic, or worse yet, creating an accident threat is an unnecessary nuisance. During mating season, the risk to human safety is compounded when males tend to become more aggressive and reckless.
NIH says new fawns are born into the on-campus deer herd each year. “With an average lifespan of 10-15 years, the deer’s health and wellbeing are in jeopardy, particularly due to nutritional deprivation,” read the story in the Record. “To continue doing nothing would not only be inhumane to the deer but also dangerous to the employees.”
Parks Added to Controlled Deer Hunt, Bethesda-Chevy-Chase Patch, Dec 3, 2014With a deer population four times the size the area can support, six parks in Silver Spring and Olney will be added to this winter’s controlled hunt, according to Montgomery Parks officials.
Deer control program to begin in two Fort Washington parks, GazetteNet, Nov 13, 2014“Based on the current overpopulation of deer, they’re causing all types of issues and concerns for the community, including Lyme disease, vehicle collisions and even poor herd health for the deer themselves. Their population has become so large that they’re actually starving,”
NIH Seeks Bidders to Spay Its Over-Abundance of Grazing Deer, NewsMax, Sept 24, 2014The 500-acre fenced-in campus of the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, is overrun with deer who are munching on the scant grass, and restrictions against hunting them and the absence of any natural predators at the NIH leaves no other choice — they have to stop them from breeding, according to the Weekly Standard.
So, in typical government fashion, the NIH is seeking bidders for a contract to shoot female deer with tranquilizer darts, perform ovariectomies — or spaying — on them by a licensed veterinarian; nurse them back to health; re-release them; train other staff to carry out the operations; and “provide expert advice for humanely controlling the deer population,” the contract proposal states.
The National Park Service Shoots Deer, Feeds Them to the Homeless, The Atlantic, May 30, 2014 The most humane-sounding plans involve deer contraception—”kinder, gentler,” sure, but effective? Not in the short term, according to a 2005 Smithsonian magazine story by Anne Broache, who accompanied a wildlife biologist and his assistants on a mission to administer birth control drugs to does in Virginia. Even the biologist said that widespread hunting would be needed to bring the area’s deer population down to a sustainable level.
Deer hunts in county parks help cull the herds, Baltimore Sun, Feb 6, 2016Howard County has been allowing hunters to participate in managed deer hunts in county parks since January 1998. Norman has run the program from the beginning, and said it was started to control a deer population that was growing beyond the habitat’s ability to support it.
The deer have “negative impacts on natural resources,” said Norman, eating seedlings and stripping small trees. Hunting has been shown to reduce deer populations in Howard County and slow the increase in traffic accidents, he said.