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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Finally a mass market book title that deals with our out-of-control deer population has hit the shelves------DEERLAND by Al Cambronne discusses much of what we consistantly opine about on this blog regarding the proliferation of deer due to the eradication of Pumas and Wolves across the majority of the USA...............This volume covers the spectrum of issues and challenges that "bambi" creates...........From lynes disease to forest regeneration to farmers lost crops to hunting seasons to auto insurance claims, DEERLAND reviews all of these issues but apparently does not call for Carnivore rewilding,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as we all know, the only real answer to "deer on steroids".

The White-Tailed Menace

The deer population grows each 

year, and so does ours—and that

 inevitably creates a problem.

Max watman;

A quick survey of the titles available
 on the subject of deer reveals that
 a lot has been written about this
graceful animal. There are countless
guides to hunting them—using bows,
 using guns, with your children, in the
 mountains, in the West. There are
guides for planting things that deer
 like to eat and guides to planting
things that deer will not eat. There
 is even a children's book about a
father who "promises his young son
 that this summer they will see a
 deer." The dramatic action in that
story turns on the idea that deer
 are hard to find, which suggests
 that it is science fiction. It's about
as hard to see a deer as it is to
 buy gas. On a recent morning
 in my little town, you could
have accomplished both in one
 location: A deer was standing
 in the parking area of the gas
station on Main Street.


By Al Cambronne 
Lyons Press, 263 pages, $18.95


This ubiquity
 is at the heart
Al Cambronne's
which is a
different kind
of deer
 book. While
 most of the
 are about what
you want from
 the deer—more
 of them in your
 yard, fewer of
them in your yard,
or more of them
 in your freezer—
Mr. Cambronne
discusses the
 interaction of
 deer and humans.
Our booming deer
largely unchecked
by the
four-legged predators
 that once
 hunted them, has shaped
industries, public policy and
farming. Billions of dollars are
spent each year not just on
 blaze orange and rifles
 (although, yes, that) but
also on auto-insurance claims,
 lost crops and landscaping
repair. From Lyme disease to
 food-bank venison, from the
 way our forests grow to the
way our land is managed and
sold, deer have become a
 major influence on American life.
"Deer are hungry," writes Mr.
 Cambronne. "Each of America's
 30 million deer eats about 3,000
 pounds of vegetation per year."
Some they nibble off of farms—
one researcher conservatively
 estimates that crops lost to deer
 cost American farmers $2 billion
 every year. Some they nibble
out of forests. "Most of us, even
if we spend a fair amount of time
in the woods, have never once
seen a forest that's not shaped
 by deer."
A forest shaped by deer has a 
clear browse line, with nothing
 green below the height a deer 
can reach. Browse lines make
 our woods look parklike and
 manicured—lovely, but not how 
woods would grow if they weren't
 being overrun by deer. The forest 
floor is often covered with an 
"emerald green carpet of sedges,"
 which deer don't eat. Sedges are
 superficially attractive, but they 
root densely and don't allow other
plants to grow. A forest with no 
understory and no midstory 
quickly empties: "no grouse, 
no turkeys, no finches, no
 warblers, no squirrels, no 
chipmunks, no nothing."
 No saplings either, for
 they've been eaten by deer.
And if you are trying to grow
 a forest on purpose? Foresters
have been driven to insane
 lengths to protect their trees,
stapling thousands of scraps
of paper to the tips of seedlings
 in a process known as "bud
capping," to prevent deer from
eating the buds off every seedling.
 This works, but each of the caps
has to be installed, painstakingly,
by hand.
We take it for granted that lots
 of deer are hit by cars—their
 carcasses are strewn about
the sides of our roads—but
the numbers are staggering:
 "1.1 million deer-vehicle
crashes resulted in about
150 human fatalities, more
than ten thousand injuries,
and insurance payouts of
 over $3.8 billion."
Everywhere, Mr. Cambronne
 elucidates details that underscores
 the surprising magnitude and
influence of the deer population
 in America, details that make it
clear that their overabundance
 is a real and pressing crisis.
"Deerland" offers no easy
 answers. Can we relocate
them? "In one California
 study, 85 percent of transplanted
deer died within one year.
 Each had cost $431 to
 capture and relocate." Can
we sterilize them? It's hard
 to manage a wild population
that way, but even when you
 really try, the "newly infertile
 deer are still present, still
eating, still spreading Lyme
disease, and still wandering
 out onto highways. Within a
 year or two, their fertile friends
 will produce enough fawns to
 render the entire effort
meaningless." Mr. Cambronne
 writes that "In much of North
 America, deer populations are
limited only by disease, starvation,
 and hunting."
Deer hunting is popular—13.7
 million Americans went hunting
 in 2011, and most of them went
after deer. But there are still not
 enough hunters to deal with so
 many deer. Only in the past
few years have we seen the
 reversal of a decades-long
 decline in the number of people
 who hunt. The deer population
grows each year, and so does
ours, and that inevitably creates
 a problem. One used to have
to search for spots where the
 wild met the tamed, but the
 edge of the forest has moved
 right into the suburbs.
A few decades ago, a whitetail
deer was still a rare sight. To
see one in a cornfield was to
 glimpse something sylvan,
secretive and pure. Though
 deer still evoke the essence
 of the woods, living with them
 has grown complicated. The deer,
it's clear, are everywhere, and
 they aren't leaving.

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