The ‘Missing’ Deer


1. Introduction
2. The White-tail Deer in New Brunswick
3. Changes in Habitat
4. Habitat Management [Click here to jump to glyphosate section]

1. Introduction

If you follow the news or social media in New Brunswick you might have the impression that white-tailed deer are vanishing from this Province. These ‘disappearing deer stories‘ are usually associated with condemnations of current and past forest management policies in New Brunswick. If you are interested in forest management, the 2008 Erdle Report provides a comprehensive review of alternative forestry management policies. Timber harvests from Crown land in New Brunswick are considered to be at or near maximum sustainable levels, despite intensive silviculture operations. Although management of Crown forest lands in New Brunswick might be far from optimal, the evidence that those practices are having a decisive impact on deer populations is mixed.  Data available from the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and published by the CBC show that deer populations in the 1970s are similar to those that we have seen in more recent years:

Note that the title in the CBC story referred to above is ‘New Brunswick deer herd down 70% in 30 years, DNR numbers show’; it could just as well have been titled ‘Deer populations revert to 1970s levels, DNR numbers show’. [Update: The green line (Herd Size B) in the above chart represents updated pre-hunt population numbers provided in the Big Game summary from the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources]

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