Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Abstract

The overpopulation of white-tailed deer in the United States poses a serious ecological, biological and economic problem in both urban and rural areas. The stakeholders in this issue, such as animal hunters, homeowners, environmentalists, right’s activists, and farmers, all have different opinions on how deer herds should be managed. Our class previously established that the deer population of Hamilton, NY is significantly overabundant according to ecological standards. In order to understand the public’s perception of the current white-tailed deer population we investigated the ways in which residents’ past experiences shaped their opinions on management strategies. To learn about these past experiences we used a phone survey because this method has a number of benefits that include time efficiency and ability to reach a variety of Hamilton residents. We found that the Hamilton, NY community perceives the current deer population to be problematic based on their perceptions of deer population size. Based on our research and results, we believe that a lethal form of management would be the most effective and the most widely supported way to reduce the local deer population.

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