Monday, January 16, 2012

MISSOURI NEWS: Deer Harvest Down in 2011

Deer harvest was down a little in 2011.

Missouri hunters took nearly 240-thousand deer during the 2011-2012 hunting season. The season’s total was up about 7,400 from last year, but roughly 13,000 below the 10-year average.

Why the decline? The state's management goal of reducing deer numbers is working.

MDC has been trying for the better part of a decade to stabilize deer numbers in many parts of Missouri. “We have been working to bring down deer populations to reduce crop damage, deer-vehicle accidents, and other deer nuisance problems, and we’ve made good progress in those areas,” Sumners said. “Now our challenge is finding ways to fine-tune deer numbers and hunting pressure at the local level, which means that future reductions in the availability of firearms antlerless permits may be necessary.”

It is amazing to think the state's first harvest of over 100,000 occurred in 1986. Tell someone that only 743 deer were harvested statewide in 1947, and they will think you are crazy.

Source: St. Louis CBS Local

IRELAND NEWS: Deer Population Density Not Sustainable

It looks like Ireland's deer population is in the early phases of exponential growth.

There are some 4,000 licensed hunters, who shoot about 25,000 deer a year in controlled hunting seasons. For a “sustainable” population, it seems an annual cull of 150,000 deer would be nearer the mark. This figure comes from Woodlands of Ireland, whose expert study in 2009 computed the extensive damage not only to Ireland’s native broadleafed woods and their dependent species but also to conifer forests, where deer strip bark when other food gets short and browse young sitka spruce into valueless bushes. By its estimate, red deer increased more than fivefold in the 30 years to 2008, with a tripling of sika and near-doubling of fallow. The muntjac may be small (like a furtive, hard-to-spot Labrador dog), but, even though it was introduced only in 2006, its sightings are already widespread and raise great ecological concern. Rumours of even more introductions – of roe and Chinese water deer – are so far unconfirmed.

Warmer winters and longer growing seasons will likely further facilitate this growth. Ireland would do well to look to their old rivals to the east for some guidance on national deer management policy.

Source: Irish Times