DEER MANAGEMENT AND THE BOWHUNTING
Enclosed are facts about deer management and how ethical
bowhunting provides a viable option for deer management.
PRESENTED BY: THE MAINE BOWHUNTERS ASSOCIATION. (Copyright 1997)
ENDORSED BY: THE MAINE DEPT. OF INLAND FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE.
Purpose: To inform, educate, and communicate the
relationships between deer management, landowners and
Populated areas of Maine where human habitation prevents or limits the
use of firearms for hunting creates an overpopulation of deer, resulting in:
Destruction of habitat, and increased human / deer contact in adverse ways,
endangering human life, health and property.
FACTS ABOUT DEER
Mature does will regularly give birth to twins yearly.
Single and triplet fawns are not uncommon.
Two deer without predation can produce a herd of up to135 deer in 7 years.
Deer can live up to 18 years.
Food types include grasses, shrubs, leaves, needles and "mast" from oak,
beech, and apple trees.
In areas of overpopulation, deer can cause an "over browsing" effect which
destroys most plant species up to six feet destroying the forest renewal
process. Gardens, plants and shrubs can also be destroyed.
Undernourished deer are smaller- weaker and prone to die from starvation.
This is not good for the environment nor is it good stewardship of the
Deer require 10-12 pounds of food each day for most of the year.
In late winter their diet is supplemented by their stored fat.
This is usually the time when overpopulated deer herds extend their range
into back yards to consume your shrubs and plants! However, this can happen at
any time of year!
When deer run out of stored fat and available browse they start to
metabolize their bone marrow and starvation is eminent.
Deer are ruminants and have multi chambered stomachs similar to cows.
Deer establish a home range and will not leave it.
Deer are known to starve or drown rather than leave their home range.
Example: The islands along Maine's coast and
many coastal communities suffer this problem, right now!
- Deer, being adaptable, learn to live around humans and the "edges" we
- Deer are crepuscular (feeding mostly at dawn and dust) and /or nocturnal,
(feeding only at night) especially if pressured.
- Farmers, orchardist, foresters and nurserymen suffer crop damage from
- Car collisions result in property loss, personal injury and occasional
human fatalities, adding to our increased insurance and medical cost.
- Deer are host to the tick that carries Lyme Disease.
- Failure to manage the deer herd makes forest and land management nearly
- Forests fail to regenerate when deer exceed 40 per square
ATTEMPTED CONTROL METHODS
Attempts to manage deer through repellents, fencing, relocation and birth
control have proven unsuccessful. Deer adapt to repellents, and find ways
around/through fences. Relocation causes 80% death due to shock; and all birth
control attempts have proven unsuccessful.
Hunting provides immediate population reduction. It is a part of the natural
predation process. Man is, after all a predator, highest in the Food Chain.
Although most hunters prefer to hunt bucks, Bowhunters tend to shoot more does.
In overpopulated areas, more does need to be removed; hence extra doe permits
may be required and appropriate. This keeps the herd diverse and viable and at a
size which is compatible to the carrying capacity of the habitat, and within the
human tolerance level. Hunting allows for more beneficial use of the resource.
Most hunters eat what they kill or give it away to others who do. In Maine a law
has been passed to legalize the use of deer meat (venison) in soup kitchens or
to feed the need programs. Reference : Hunters for
The Hungry, telephone number 1-800-4DEERME and Sportsman Against Hunger, firstname.lastname@example.org, (207) 353-6547.
THE BOWHUNTING SOLUTION
- Bowhunting is a low profile method of hunting deer.
- The average shot is less than 20 yards or 60 feet.
- A safe and effective way to hunt in heavily populated area's close to
houses, farms and roads.
- Bows and bowhunters are quite and unobstrusive; not disturbing inhabitants
of the area.
- Bows in use today are extremely effective and will shoot a razor sharp
broadhead tipped arrow completely through a deer causing massive and immediate
- The resulting blood loss causes dulling of the senses and death is
painless and swift.
- If a deer is wounded it immediately secretes hormones (endorphins) from
the brain which dull pain and promote rapid healing.
- These same endorphins allow non fatally injured deer to recover quickly
from the clean cutting wound of a broadhead.
- A scientific study "Aspects of Wounding White Tailed Deer by Bowhunters"
written by Wendy Krueger in 1995 revealed that less than 13% of bow shot deer
are not recovered (many of these deer survive their wounds).
- Bowhunting is a popular and challenging method of hunting with the
emphasis on hunting.
- Bowhunting is recognized by the F&W Departments throughout the United
States as a sound game management tool.
- Bowhunters account for less than 5% of the deer harvested in Maine.
- The MBA teaches and supports ethical bowhunting behavior. Our members
pledge to uphold and obey the laws of the State of Maine, to hunt in a safe
and ethical manner, and to respect landowners.
When you permit members of the MBA to hunt on your land, you will host good
citizens and concerned bowhunters, who will respect you, your property and the
game they hunt.
If you think bowhunting can be a viable solution to your deer management
problem please contact:
THE MAINE BOWHUNTERS ASSOCIATION
P.O. BOX 5026 AUGUSTA, MAINE 04332
We will have a local member of the MBA meet with you and work on a bowhunting
solution to your problem.
Audette's Ace Hardware
22 Peck Farm Road, Winthrop, ME 04364
Ben's Trading Post
719 Main Street
Presque Isle, ME 04769
95 Main Street
Freeport, ME 04032
Maine Seed Company
263 Pulcifur Road
Mapleton, ME 04757
Old Town Archery Shop
300 Main St., Old Town, ME 04468