Let’s Move Into Town

Mike J. from West Virginia writes to ask about urban deer. “My city is debating having a bowhunt because of the high number of deer that we now have in town. Some folks are saying that housing developments outside the city limits are ‘forcing’ deer into town and that is the problem. I didn’t think that deer left their home range, so who is right here?”

Dr. Dave Samuel

You are, Mike. Let’s say that Wal-Mart built a new store with a huge paved parking lot right outside the city limits. Obviously deer that had that area as part of their home range, couldn’t use that area any more. But they don’t leave that area, they just use the rest of their home range more than they did before. Also, understand that some deer have home ranges that overlap the city limits. So, they spend part of their time inside the city limits and part outside of the city limits. No question that habitat is lost to all kinds of development, but the result of that development means some deer die. They don’t “move” into town because of it. 

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at tkachero@sportsmansguide.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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