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Reply #48: Actually the main cause of the increase is deer, is tied in with increase in deer food [View All]

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #21
48. Actually the main cause of the increase is deer, is tied in with increase in deer food
Deer is NOT a deep woods animal, nor a open field animal, it is a trig eater and as such a Second Growth forest animal.

Most of the Forest of the Northeast were cut down before 1900. In 1900 those forest lands were wastelands with berries. Bob whites and pheasants thrived in that environment. By the 1940s the berry bushes started to give way to locusts and other secondary growth trees, Bob white and pheasant populations started to drop, while the Deer population boomed, given all of the trigs available to them on these Second Growth forests. Starting in the 1960s you started to see the second Growth Forest grow taller into a mature forest, dominated by Cherry trees, and Maples (If the American Chestnut would have been around, it would have become a dominate tree of that time period). As Mature forest mature, Oaks become the dominate tree, maples disappear, but the Cherry and American Chestnut (If the Chestnut blight had not destroyed them) would still be competitive. In such mature forest, Deer population drops, while Turkey and Grouse boom.

The problem with most of the North east is the true forest entered the Mature Forest stage in the 1970s-2000, they are still maturing, but such forests are hostile to deer. On the other hand, Deer will still seek food, undergrowth is eaten (Thus the proliferation of ferns in the Forest of the North East, Deer dislike Ferns) AND a movement of deer to farms and suburban homes looking for food (Trigs of low laying trees and shrubs).

This maturing of the Forest and the Spread of Suburbia had lead to the situation of to many deer, not the lack of predators. The Deer are preventing undergrowth to survive and thus affecting mature forests. Bobcats survive in the the North East and are known to take out a deer at times, but the main predator is man and has been since colonial days. I can NOT see people liking the idea of Cougars and wolves living in their Suburban cul-de-sac, thus we are stuck with human hunters.

P.S. one of the problem is Human Hunters want to go out in the deep woods, not the suburbs. The problem is the Deer are in the Suburbs NOT the deep woods. In both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia you can take as many does as you want, but to few hunters opt for doe licenses in either county, preferring the boon docks.
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