White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations can expand greatly in suburban areas where hunting is limited or prohibited. Incorporating a hunting program for management purposes is often unfeasible due to property parcelization and varying opinions on deer management within each community. We present the case of Hidden Valley Lake, Indiana (707 ha), whose deer population was effectively reduced by archery hunting within a dense human population. Prior to implementing a managed archery program, deer density estimates exceeded 60 deer/km2. After the first year of the managed archery hunt, where 230 deer (~36 deer/km2) were removed, deer density estimates for Hidden Valley and the surrounding area were greatly reduced. After a second year of hunting, 300 deer had been removed, and harvest-to-effort ratios decreased dramatically from the first to the second year of the program. Our study suggests that a managed archery program within heavily populated suburban areas can lower deer densities quickly and effectively under the right circumstances. The ability to provide access for hunters, cooperation and flexibility of state regulations, resilient community leaders, and motivated local hunters are all necessary to reduce a localized deer population within a brief time period.
Stewart, Chad M.; Keller, Bruce; and Williamson, Chad R.
"Keys to Managing a Successful Archery Deer Hunt in an Urban Community: a Case Study,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 7:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol7/iss1/13