(In fact, in some zones the bow season actually opens before the autumnal equinox!) In northern Minnesota, where the forest habitat was much different than it … How about a trip down memory lane? In the East the white-tailed deer was one of the first principal beneficiaries. The history of white-tailed deer in Missouri shows the positive and negative influences humans can have on wildlife (Figure 2). The doe is smaller and weighs in much lighter at 70 to 150 pounds. Don't get me wrong, deer in Pennsylvania had nearly disappeared from the landscape. 1953-1955: 111 deer released throughout the state, with last releases in Sullivan and Ripley counties. It happened in the past. Excellent range equals twice as many deer in two years. I couldn't get enough of them. Unregulated shooting, changes in land use, and other factors combined to all but eliminate deer … History can take many forms — natural history, world history, personal history. The white-tailed deer belongs to the family Cervidae, which includes elk, mule deer, moose, and caribou. White-tailed deer have been prominent in human cultures in North America for thousands of years, likely gaining importance after mostspecies of mammalian megafauna went extinct during the Pleistocene, 12,000–15,000 years ago . Deer were plentiful when European settlers first arrived, but the animals were hunted extensively for meat and hide with no thought of conservation or management. And the colonists did what anyone would do if they hit the lottery. Because reducing a 90 percent forested state to a 17 percent forested state surely wouldn't change the complexion or the bounty of what was here when the colonists arrived. The first buck-only season resulted in less than 200 bucks being harvested, and the state's first accident-free deer season. White-tailed Deer In West Texas the white-tailed deer is a species that attracts a wide range of opinions. That's more than six million deer harvested in a quarter of a century. They range throughout Michigan and are a game animal in this state. The white-tailed deer is Pennsylvania's state animal. Compared to the dozen other large terrestrial herbivores that survived in North America, white-tailed deer have many attractive characteristics. Trees would retake Pennsylvania, but the forest would not look the same. The gestation period averages 202 days; twins are often born. Deer were plentiful when European settlers first arrived, but the animals were hunted extensively for meat and hide with no thought of conservation or management. In the Americas, it is the most widely distributed wild ungulate. (In fact, in some zones the bow season actually opens before the autumnal equinox!) Special Requests to Use State Game Lands Information, Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). Oh, boy, this was not going to go over well. Everyone wanted more deer. Granted, I don't live in poverty and I'm pretty sure of my next meal, but not having to worry about everyday things anymore is very appealing. Deer populations today have risen to approximately one million deer in North Carolina. For many, the story of the white-tailed deer spans only a few decades, or as long as one person's memory. I sure did. White-tailed deer are polygamous breeders: one male mates with several females during a breeding season. Deer, when granted some protection, readily exploit man-made disturbances caused by agriculture, forestry, and urbanization. Pennsylvania's "new" forests would be oak and cherry and maple and birch — millions and millions of tender, sweet, mouthwatering seedlings all growing at the same time with a healthy helping of greenbiar, elderberry, viburnum and asters. Five years later the buck harvest was more than 1,000. History in Connecticut: Due to over-harvesting for venison and deerskins, market hunting, and a general loss of deer habitat caused by extensive clearing of the land for farming, white-tailed deer were uncommon in Connecticut from 1700 to approximately 1900. However, its overabundance where protected from predation and from adequate hunting has led to severe damage to forestry and agriculture, to high levels of collisions with cars and trucks and resulting injuries and fatalities among motorists, as well as to an upswing in dangerous transmissible diseases such as Lyme disease. Mating is quick and unceremonious. During the mating season in November and December, much of the courtship is carried on at a run; many males try to keep up with the speedy female. Small resident herds that had survived the dark days of the iSoo’s multiplied and spread. Today the white-tailed deer is a popular game animal. Come on, we've all been accused of having selective memories. I wish my money in the bank grew that fast. White-tailed Deer In West Texas the white-tailed deer is a species that attracts a wide range of opinions. Two years later the buck harvest was more than 1,200 and by 1920, buck harvest was 3,300; more than 16 times what it was just 13 years before. Hunting is the number one cause of mortality for adult white-tailed deer in many parts of their range, including Tennessee. Scientists believe that deer once inhabited bitter-cold regions around the Arctic Circle. The venison that was not sold or traded was salted and used by the colonists themselves. Isolated from predators and hunters, the deer population grew quickly. While the records show a handful of antlerless deer were harvested from 1923 to 1926, the first "statewide" antlerless season occurred in 1928. Let's face it. History of the White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania The Early Days. White-tailed deer are the smallest of the three members of the deer family found in Michigan, the others being elk and moose. Yet hunters managed to kill another 250,000 deer over the next two years. White-tailed deer have been introduced into Europe and the Caribbean and are farmed in New Zealand. Well, seven years later, after nearly all of the state's abundant game had disappeared and 70 percent of Penn's Woods had become agricultural fields, Phillips, along with other sportsmen, formed the Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Association. The history of white-tailed deer in Missouri shows the positive and negative influences humans can have on wildlife. White-tailed deer may live apart from each other in summer but may form big herds in winter on open prairies or in forests. Its population in the Piedmont had declined severely by the 1940s, but restocking from the Coastal Plain and restoration of forests have now ensured its statewide distribution. Forgetting the common history of the whitetail exposes us to silly mistakes — like forgetting to tuck your shirt in while standing in waist high raspberry brambles in July. Recall that there were only 300,000 living deer in the entire country slightly more than a hundred years ago. Quite unintentionally, our forefathers created perfect circumstances for the roaring comeback of our soon-to-be state animal. Yet people questioned them. 1934-1942: 296 deer purchased for release from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. They also in­habit farm­lands, brushy areas and such des­o­late areas of the west such as the cac­tus and thorn­brush deserts of … "White-tailed" refers to the distinctive white tail that when raised is a flag and provides a flash of white, signaling other deer when there is danger. Legislators made promises to stop the season as well. Please enable scripts and reload this page. In less than 15 years the mind-set of hunters went from three days of tracking and killing the "last deer in Pennsylvania" to vehement "opposition to the ruthless slaughter of does." Depleted resources at home and unknown riches abroad spurred the exploration and "discovery" of new worlds. But despite the claims of no deer left, Pennsylvania hunters harvested nearly 400,000 deer in 1997, the fourth highest harvest in history, despite an allocation that was the lowest it had been in the previous nine years. The white-tailed deer is Pennsylvania's state animal. Antlers normally … Well, the "honest" people of Pennsylvania had had enough of this wildlife protection nonsense by 1903. Even those with a multimillion dollar paycheck can't seem to balance their budgets. The rising tide of deer hit 900,000 in the early '80s, with densities surpassing 50 deer/forest square mile in some areas — way above any habitat-based goal. Farther south, white-tailed deer thrive on the forest borders and partially cleared areas. Prime areas are those which have a mix of forest, old fields and active crop lands. The harvest in 1907 was 230 deer. History really doesn't have to be that complicated. The restocking program continued for 19 years, which was probably 19 years too many. White-tailed deer are the smallest member of the deer family in North America, ranging in size from 150 to 310 pounds for bucks and 90 to 210 pounds for does. History has never been my favorite subject. Pennsylvania was the land of plenty to those who settled here, her forests did not hold nor could they support the number of deer these "new" forests could. Whitetail Deer History Scientists believe that deer once inhabited bitter-cold regions around the Arctic Circle. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). A four township area in Clearfield County had an estimated 1,000 dead fawns. Wary, and expert at using cover, whitetails rarely offer the hunter a standing shot once jumped. It is probable that mixtures of these compounds are important in individual recognition, but specific compounds may also be important.…, The white-tailed deer is the best known of the mammals found in South Carolina. White-tailed deer can be differentiated from mule deer by their distinct wide tail with a … Buckeye is based on the Native American word "hetuck," meaning "eye of the buck." My history of raspberry picking taught me that chiggers are more active at cooler temperatures and that I should always tuck my shirt in. Before its creation, most hunters thought a state wildlife agency was a great idea — it meant there would be more game. I mean who can't live out the rest of their days with $164 million. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. By repeated marking, house mice produce accretions of urine at “marking posts,” and a dominant male may mark 100–200 times in an hour. But wait…you mean I can't hunt where I want, when I want, and take what I want. As communities grew, wildlife surrounding them disappeared. In time, Penn's Woods were transformed for agriculture, providing even more food for the growing numbers of residents of the commonwealth. In the tropics reproduction may take place year-round. 1915 – Crop damage complaints; 1922 – forest regeneration problems; 1925-26 – investigations revealing deer overstocked the forests and laurel and rhododendron were destroyed in many places; 1931 – the Department of Forests and Waters publishes The Deer Problem in the Forests of Pennsylvania, documenting the extensive damage caused by deer. Ross Leffler, a prominent figure in Game Commission and Pennsylvania conservation history, said, "Sportsmanly chivalry has become so deeply-rooted that we are finding the second step in game restoration the hardest — getting sportsmen to realize that it is just as important to limit the number of species to within its food supply…" That was in 1931. While the "brush stage" of Pennsylvania forests was maintained for longer than normal because of fires, it only delayed the inevitable. White­tail deer are able to sur­vive in a va­ri­ety of ter­res­trial habi­tats, from the big woods of north­ern Maine to the deep saw grass and ham­mock swamps of Florida. In 1976, the Game Commission adopted a new deer policy recognizing "that deer belong to all citizens of the commonwealth and that recreational hunting is a privilege, not a right." Now the Game Commission wanted to liberalize hunting. Mr. Phillips is known as one of Pennsylvania's foremost conservationists yet he was not deterred from withdrawing the last buck from the Pennsylvania resource bank. Director Kalbfus noted the gathering clouds on the horizon. These animals were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers for both food and clothing. And if I was lucky, I would survive the 5-month journey across the Atlantic and in doing so "hit the jackpot.". What is better than waking up to the stillness and beauty of fresh snow? The typical weight of an adult buck (male) is 100 to 250 pounds with a shoulder height of 3½ to 4 feet. History Prehistory. The state banned deer harvest 1841. Recalling only the parts we like or that suit our cause instead of what actually happened. During flight the hair is flared, and the tail is held aloft like a signaling flag. Williamsport became known as the lumber capital of the world, and in 1899 Pennsylvania hit its peak annual lumber production of 2.3 billion board feet. By the mid-20th century, however, it had been restored to great abundance by game-management measures throughout North America. The General Assembly changed deer season in 1869, and in 1876, and, again, in 1895 (Oct 15 to Dec 15). No wonder people go bankrupt after winning the lottery. When I do win Powerball, I am sure my monetary worries will be over for life. Within 100 years, deer were threatened with extirpation in North Carolina, as well as in the entire United States. Hemlocks and white pine had their heyday. 1900 – Market/subsistence hunting and unregulated harvest eliminate nearly all deer from the state. Females become territorial before giving birth. 1953-1955: 111 deer released throughout the state, with last releases in Sullivan and Ripley counties. White-tailed deer have played a very important role in the history of our country. After five years of labor, the Game Commission was born, in 1895. In 1682, when William Penn arrived in his newly acquired province, he was flabbergasted at the natural wealth he found. In his 1916 annual report he wrote, "In many sections of the state female deer have increased exceedingly, and because of the law giving them absolute protection, have apparently come to believe they belong in a privileged class that can do as they please . Not having to go to school! Hunters in Pennsylvania have been harvesting more than 300,000 deer for more than 20 years. HISTORY OF THE WHITE DEER Several dozen wild white-tailed deer were probably caught within the fence that was built to surround the Seneca Army Depot in 1941. In the United States, the black-tailed or mule deer displaces the white-tailed deer west of the Rocky Mountains. Inconceivable. In 1681, when King Charles II gave William Penn his chunk of the new world and sealed the deal on our great state's name, 90 percent of Pennsylvania was forested — an estimated 27 to 28 million acres. White-tail Deer, Odocoileus virginianus White-tailed deer belong to the order of artiodactyla and family Cervidae and may live up to 12 years in the wild, although they rarely reach anything over seven years of age. A free day to play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, and drive your mother crazy. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. The deer season (Aug 1 – Dec 1 with no limit) which had been set nearly a hundred years earlier, seemed to do little to slow the decline of this much-sought prize. Market-hunting and habitat loss nearly extirpated deer from the state by 1900. The average number of deer-vehicle collisions per day in Pennsylvania is 275. The state tree, the Ohio Buckeye, is named because its nut resembles a deer, or buck's, eye. (13 percent success rate.) He wrote that elk, deer, raccoons, beaver, rabbits, turkeys and pigeons were so plentiful that "they run in droves into the house in cold weather." White-tailed deer have been prominent in human cultures in North America for thousands of years, likely gaining importance after mostspecies of mammalian megafauna went extinct during the Pleistocene, 12,000–15,000 years ago . Hunting is the number one cause of mortality for adult white-tailed deer in many parts of their range, including Tennessee. 1951: First deer season in 58 years—three days in November. At the time of European settlement, white-tailed deer in Minnesota existed throughout the wooded river valleys and woodlands of central and southern Minnesota. In northern Minnesota, where the forest habitat was much different than it is today, deer were absent or rare. While the chestnut blight was wiping out more of Pennsylvania's forests, the deer were picking up the slack everywhere else. Well, their wish came true. Prior to European settlement, deer provided a staple for Native Americans who inhabited present-day Pennsylvania. How about a trip down memory lane? History has never been my favorite subject. Hunting by native peoples and predation by large carnivores kept deer populations in balance with … Climate change has allowed the white-tailed deer to expand its presence in Canada in recent years. In presettlement times, white-tailed deer were fairly abundant in Missouri, especially in the more fertile, diverse habitats of the northern part of the state. It wasn't until about 4 million years ago that the first deer migrated to what we now call the United States. In the United States, the black-tailed or mule deer displaces the white-tailed deer west of the Rocky Mountains. Compared to the dozen other large terrestrial herbivores that survived in North America, white-tailed deer have many attractive characteristics. Now where shall we go? The Game Commission floundered for the first few years. 1917 – Total statewide deer population estimated at 500 animals. Seeing the track of one was enough to call off school. Now, Will recommended that "care be taken to leave one acre of trees for every five acres cleared." The Coues white-tailed deer is perhaps Arizona's finest game animal. White-tailed deer belong to the order of artiodactyla and family Cervidae and may live up to 12 years in the wild, although they rarely reach anything over seven years of age. It has been locally outcompeted in North America by sika and chital. There is a rather famous account by John M Phillips in which he and a friend jump a buck and kill it after three days of tracking. 1893: Last reported wild deer kill made in Knox County. Better late than never. Well, I'm not quite sure I believe that but, the fact is, Pennsylvania was teaming with wildlife, and the effort required to obtain it was far less than anything experienced in the Old World. This pattern continued for decades. What if I wasn't sure of how I would keep my family fed and warm through the winter? The Maryland White-tailed Deer Management Plan (‘the deer plan’) documents the history of white-tailed deer and white-tailed deer management in Maryland (information on basic white-tailed deer biology can be found in Appendix 1). That year more than 170,000 antlerless deer were harvested. That's when the first field officer was shot. During pre-settlement times, the whitetail was abundant in Missouri. After all, shooting antlerless deer was the sole reason deer disappeared, and not shooting them brought them back, right? Scientific Name – Odocoileusvirginianus Classification – Odocoileus Gender Names – Male – buck, stag; Female – doe; Baby – fawn Collective Noun – Herd, […] Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Fires raged and erosion washed away topsoil, fouling creeks and streams. The white-tailed deer is a specialist in exploiting disrupted forest ecosystems, but it is a poor competitor when faced with other species. White-tailed deer readily turn to orchards and other cultivated vegetation when available. Their short tail stands erect when alarmed, displaying white fur on the underside. Those who pursued deer wrote of taking three with one shot, seven in one day, and 100 in one fall. Colonists had everything they needed and apparently all they really had to do was leave the door open on a cold night to wake up to a house full of game. The deer populations before 1775 were healthy and stable because of good food and cover. That was pretty much the attitude of the general populous of Pennsylvania. Limited male only harvests, absent predators, abundant regenerating clearcuts, frequent fires holding back forest succession, and an agency pulling out all the stops to return game to the state. It seems after 10 years of bloodshed, both human and wildlife, the good citizens of PA finally decided to at least have their cake even if they couldn't eat it too. While this deer varies greatly in size, it changes little in its external appearance over its huge range. We have been traveling together through Pennsylvania's deer management history for the past eight months. The state tree, the Ohio Buckeye, is named because its nut resembles a deer, or buck's, eye. By the time antlerless deer were protected, the drama had been unfolding in Pennsylvania for nearly 250 years. At the turn of the 20th century everybody wanted more deer. Like the deer, elk, beaver and the turkey, how could so much ever be depleted? The White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, has been extremely important in Ohio's history. They have a very large number of subspecies spread across both the continents. Proudly founded in 1681 as a place of tolerance and freedom. White-tailed Deer have been in Ohio since the end of the last Ice Age. Because Pennsylvanians wanted the world and wanted it now, the Game Commission began a restocking program in 1906 to accelerate the return of the whitetail. Many deer managers, protective of their prized mule deer herds, resent the “invasion” of the white-tailed deer into areas previously unoccupied by the “lesser species.” Description The most characteristic feature of the white-tailed deer is the white underside of its tail or "flag" that is flashed when disturbed. 1943: Deer population estimated at 900 deer. That is until June rolled around and the sun was shining and the grass was green and I was cooped up in a classroom making up those gems of. Deer History White-tailed deer have played a very important role in the history of our country. Life is a grand teacher. I do. Mr. Phillips tells his friend that "I have killed the last deer in Pennsylvania." Life History of the White-tailed Deer LHOTWTD012104. (13 percent success rate.) While the educational campaign of the 1950s succeeded in establishing an annual antlerless season, we all know it did little else to quiet deer harvest debates. Corrections? Because it seems that many have amnesia when it comes to this subject. When Europeans came to the New World, the white-tailed deer played an important role in providing food. Of course, hunters of that era didn't have the hang ups that we do today. Half of Pennsylvania's vast forests were gone. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environmental Design, The University of Calgary. One of the reasons we can sometimes win a battle with Mother Nature but never the war is because she is always changing her game plan. They went to court, wrote letters to newspaper editors, and signed petitions to close the antlerless season. This might be my situation if I had lived in Europe during the era of colonization. Native Americans depended on white-tailed deer as a source of food, clothing, shelter, and goods for trading. Populations near extinction in the early 1900’s have rebounded due to … They have excellent hearing due to their large, sensitive ears. They spent their money. Deer play an important role in our forests, and everyone admires their graceful beauty. So let's recap â€” European colonists arrived in Pennsylvania around 1650ish and 250 years later predators are wiped out, game species are overharvested and extirpated, half of the state's trees are gone, the Game Commission is created, and millions of acres of deer food replaced vast mature forests. Yet the deer herd continued to increase, even as the forests began to change. No one was turned away. They believed it was an inherent right to take what they wanted at will. Moose and woodland caribou were the most abundant members of the deer family. But remember having to go to school in June stinks. I mean a good thing is a good thing no matter how much there is. Director Kalbfus had a sense of humor — heaven knows you need it in this line of work. I'm sure my two dedicated fans would be disappointed; but, hey, those are the breaks. By 1840, the number of Pennsylvanians stood at three million. But it is true. White-tailed deer, normally a cherished North American game animal, have even become pests in suburbs and cities in the United States and Canada. Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, itself, supplied deer. The white-tailed deer predates the Ice Ages and is the oldest extant deer species. Some routes are burned into my brain, such as the 110 miles to State College or the 160 miles to Harrisburg. Keystone State. Deer grow a The white-tailed deer was formerly greatly reduced in its range and abundance by unrestricted hunting. Can you guess what happened next? It became abundant only after the last glaciation when the indigenous Ice Age fauna of the Americas became extinct and competitive and predation pressures were lifted. Its high speed in running, its legendary skills at hiding, and its ability to move silently reflect severe pressure from extinct American Ice Age predators. This column has looked at deer hair and digestion, followed the glamorous life of a biologist, and busted some old wives' tales about our beloved state animal. According to Game Commission records, 1,192 deer were purchased during that period. Well, that fits. As a species, the extend from the southern edge of the arctic prairies … For certain, this would be the last installment of the Life and Times series. Omissions? Hunting by native peoples and predation by large carnivores kept deer populations in balance with … You've read about them in the paper, seen them on the news. Amnesia has two main features: an impaired ability to learn new information, and an impaired ability to recall past events. That's right — the entire white-tailed population in 1890 was less than last year's statewide harvest. Remember John Phillips, the man who believed he killed the last deer in Pennsylvania in 1883. Deer have not been an endangered species in this state since 1900. The male has forward curved antlers that bear a number of unbranched tines. At five, not getting that blue ball in Target was the end of the world, but after graduating high school, obtaining two advanced degrees, making a life in four different states thousands of miles from friends and family, getting married with all its up and downs, that blue ball is small potatoes. Keywords: white tailed deer, history, impact on natural resources Prepared by: David Jackson, Extension Educator Lesson Plan Grade Level: 6-12th Total Time Required for Lesson: 3 hours classroom and research time Setting: Classroom, library, computer room Topics: history, population shifts, impact on natural resources Goals for the Lesson. Ever dream of hitting Powerball? Hunters and lawmakers cried foul and accused the Commission of selling out to farmers and foresters. The White-tailed Deer is a browser, feeding on leaves, buds, and twigs of wide variety of plants. Wary, and expert at using cover, whitetails rarely offer the hunter a standing shot once jumped. Extensive clearing of land, unregulated hunting, and loss of habitat brought the white-tailed deer population to a record low by the late 1800’s. Could perspective be the cure? The influx of European settlers to Missouri during the last half of the 19th century coincided with a rapid decline in the deer population. I'm pretty sure it was added as the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not shoot does. I would much rather do stuff than read about people who did stuff.But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the past and what we can learn from it for the future. Updates? I think you know the road by now. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the past and what we can learn from it for the future. In 1965, hunters killed more than 65,000 bucks, shattering the 1957 high of 49,000, and then eclipsed the new record two years later, with a harvest of more than 78,000. https://www.britannica.com/animal/white-tailed-deer, New Hampshire Public Television - NatureWorks - White-tailed Deer, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - North American Mammals - White-tailed Deer, Michigon Department of Natural Resources - White-tailed Deer, National Park Service - White-tailed Deer. Joseph Kalbfus, the first executive director of the Game Commission, saw the problem as clear as day. Transplants of a few animals mushroomed to thousands within a few years. Prime areas are those which have a mix of forest, old fields and active crop lands. The buck guards and mates with the female for a day before searching for another female in heat. In urban areas these deer may become dangerous pests. It has also been introduced to New Zealand, all the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico ), and some countries in Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Serbia, Germany, and France. PDMA (Pennsylvania Deer Management Amnesia) has plagued the Game Commission for almost a century. Back when the population estimate of white-tailed deer was 300,000 — for the entire United States. The "great majority" of hunters were pleased with the new law not only for the protection of the deer herd but for the "feeling of personal security." I told you that habitat was fantastic. Over the next six years the allocation steadily declined as hunters griped about seeing too few deer. And this is the trouble with the past. Hunters were enraged. The Coues white-tailed deer is perhaps Arizona's finest game animal. 1951: First deer season in 58 years—three days in November. 1956: Deer trapping and reloca… Buckeye is based on the Native American word "hetuck," meaning "eye of the buck." Needless to say, Director Kalbfus was not successful and noted, "Thank God I won't be in charge of this work 10 years from now, because someone is going to have hell to pay.". Sure, the deer and most of the other wildlife had all but vanished from the land of plenty, but game wasn't the only thing disappearing. But fear not, market hunters (those who turned a profit from their ability to harvest wildlife) did their duty by supplying settlements with a steady stream of deer and other game. White-tailed deer, normally a cherished North American game animal, have even become pests in suburbs and cities in the United States and Canada. 1934-1942: 296 deer purchased for release from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. In 1950, the Game Commission started a campaign to educate hunters about deer and modern deer management. Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh were all well-established cities by 1800, with growing populations. They also in­habit farm­lands, brushy areas and such des­o­late areas of the west such as the cac­tus and … Reams of data were collected and indices were developed. In 1906, the year before the buck-only hunting regulation, the harvest was roughly 800 deer, 350 of which were bucks. Within 100 years, deer were threatened with extirpation in North Carolina, as well as in the entire United States. But, amazingly enough, the antlerless allocation continued to rise until 1991, until the familiar howls of the disgruntled rose above common sense. "Whitetails" have been a part of Penn's Woods for many centuries. Deer are graceful and swift runners (up to 35 miles per hour), but do not generally run long distances, preferring to seek the nearest shelter whenever possible. But that was about to change. In 1907, the harvest dropped to 200 bucks and 30 illegal does. And why not? But the storm would gain strength and pound the landscape for decades. In presettlement times, white-tailed deer were fairly abundant in Missouri, especially in the more fertile, diverse habitats of the northern part of the state. The exits and mile markers are well established and painfully familiar. This is why I decided to take this trip through Pennsylvania's deer management history. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. Odocoileus virginianus At the time of European settlement, white-tailed deer in Minnesota existed throughout the wooded river valleys and woodlands of central and southern Minnesota. White-tailed deer can live to 18 years, but few deer in the wild live that long. You're crazy! . " In the 1942 Walt Disney Pictures film, Bambi is a white-tailed deer, while in Felix Salten's original 1923 book Bambi, a Life in the Woods, he is a roe deer. But under this "new" system things were working just fine. By the mid-1800s, though, hunting and habitat destruction had reduced the herd. Hunt History. That was the same year a bill providing complete protection to antlerless deer and establishing a seasonal one-buck bag limit was passed. And the older I get, the more I realize that life is all about perspective. The history of white-tailed deer in Missouri shows the positive and negative influences humans can have on wildlife. Meat and … The natural resource account was busting at the seams and the bank was always open. For a deer, this means less food because trees are too big to eat and shrubs are shaded out. It took another seven years before antlerless season, a fundamental component of deer management, became an annual occurrence. Can you really have too much of a good thing? For example, I spent a lovely cool July 4th picking raspberries several years ago. You're telling me that a normal Joe can become rich and spend more money than he has ever made in his life in a matter of a couple of years. White-tailed deer are herbivores, leisurely grazing on most available plant foods. Perhaps it is inconceivable to you and me — the poor schmucks who haven't won the lottery. Large males can stand as high as 106 cm (42 inches) at the shoulder and can weigh up to 180 kg (400 pounds). Fawns are reddish, brown, or reddish-yellow spotted with white; they lose their spots and acquire uniform coloration at 3–5 months of age. Normal Joe (the one who spent all his money in the bank) thought game protectors were nothing more than an annoyance sent to prosecute "honest" people. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. And some of those memories aren't true to life. "Whitetails" have been a part of Penn's Woods for many centuries. It became abundant only after the last glaciation when the indigenous Ice Age fauna of the Americas became extinct and competitive and predation pressures were lifted. The adult white-tailed deer has a bright reddish summer coat and a duller grayish brown winter coat; the underparts are white. The influx of European settlers to Missouri during the last half of the 19th century coincided with a rapid decline in the deer population. Its history in the State is traced as a background for understanding its present status and the kind of management called for. First, white-tailed deer are widely distributed and much of the species’ range includes some of the most productive habitats on the contin… Director Kalbfus began the crusade for an antlerless license in 1917, But does were worshipped by Pennsylvanians. In another 10 years, the buck season was again closed. Within a remarkably short time restoration efforts in one state after another bore fruit. 1956: Deer trapping and reloca… Native Americans depended on white-tailed deer as a source of food, clothing, shelter, and goods for trading. The 1928 antlerless season resulted in the harvest of 25,097 antlerless deer and the resignation of Executive Director John Truman. Ever wish for a snow day? Its body and antlers are largest in cold temperate climates and on productive agricultural soils but are small in the tropics, in deserts, and on small islands. When the Game Commission began restricting hunting, people were up in arms. Perhaps for this reason, the species has become increasingly important in the harvest. Deer populations today have risen to approximately one million deer in North Carolina. During pre-settlement times, the whitetail was abundant in Missouri. Something had to take their place. She rolled up her sleeves and got back to work. Buck season was closed for the first time in state history. 1943: Deer population estimated at 900 deer. Words like "conservation" and "sustainable" were nonexistent. This column has looked at deer hair and digestion, followed the glamorous life of a biologist, and busted some old wives' tales about our beloved state animal. It it remained illegal to harvest deer in Delaware until 1954, when the population had rebounded. The white-tailed deer population in North Carolina has made a dramatic turnaround. But no matter how beaten and abused, Mother Nature never surrenders. Other species, such as the…. The key word, of course, is nearly. Unless it has some life-altering effect (like being covered in chigger bites from the waist to the knees), most of our past is archived and only browsed occasionally at family functions. Historic accounts notethat furs sent out from the various posts upon the Illinois River included10,000 deer, 300 bear, 10,000 raccoon, 35,000 muskrat, 400 otter, 300 pounds ofbeaver, 500 cat and fox and 100 mink, having a total value placed at $23,700.During this time period, a 60­â€“100 pound whitetail sol… It has also been introduced to New Zealand, all the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico ), and some countries in Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Serbia, Germany, and France. Prior to European settlement, deer provided a staple for Native Americans who inhabited present-day Pennsylvania. With policy set and goals in hand, the Game Commission got on the deer management turnpike. I guess it should come as no surprise, then, that the pioneers of Pennsylvania filed for natural resource bankruptcy as well. But the treasures that it held were beyond anything they dreamed of in their homeland. And while 1905 passed without an incident, 1907 made up for it with seven officers being shot, three of which were fatal. And so had the attitude of hunters. Mothers sometimes raise daughters to adulthood and then depart, leaving their home range to the daughters. Who wouldn't support that? What could go wrong? Author of. White-tailed Deer have been in Ohio since the end of the Ice Age, living in the unglaciated portion of... Pre-Settlement. Penn's Woods, themselves, could have been classified as an endangered species.