Deer hunting season is underway in Coffee County! With hunting season underway, landowners and confronted with the decision of giving someone permission to hunt on their land or not giving someone permission to hunt on their land. While there are many factors to consider, our University of Tennessee Extension wildlife specialist has some recommendations for landowners who want to manage deer populations on their land.
According to Craig Harper, UT Extension professor of wildlife management, landowners should allow hunters access to their property if there is a problem with too many deer. Within the regulations set forth by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (see
http://www.state.tn.us/twra/deerseasons.html), Harper recommends reducing the number of female deer (does). "Concentrating on bucks does little to control overpopulation," he says. "In many overpopulated areas, it is necessary to harvest 1 doe per 20 acres (sometimes more) before the population is reduced to acceptable levels," he said.
Where Quality Deer Management is desirable, Harper says landowners should reduce the overall deer population so plenty of forage is available. He recommends removing does to even out the sex ratio and allowing bucks to reach 3.5 years of age to enhance the herd.
For more information, refer to Quality Deer Management: Guidelines for
Implementation, UT Extension publication PB 1643, available online at http://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/wildlife/default.asp#management. The title is listed under the "Wildlife Management" heading.
Landowners may also want to refer to UT Extension publication PB 1624, Managing Nuisance Animals and Associated Damage Around the Home, for additional information on wildlife damage management.