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Everyone wanted more deer. They went to court, wrote letters to newspaper editors, and signed petitions to close the antlerless season. 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 population in Pennsylvania hit 300,000 by 1776, a 500 percent increase in just 60 years. 1893: Last reported wild deer kill made in Knox County. A four township area in Clearfield County had an estimated 1,000 dead fawns. The General Assembly changed deer season in 1869, and in 1876, and, again, in 1895 (Oct 15 to Dec 15). And the colonists did what anyone would do if they hit the lottery. White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were once so rare that in the early 1900s, Illinois State Museum curators had to arrange to get specimens from Wisconsin for exhibit. Let's face it. At the turn of the 20th century everybody wanted more deer. 1956: Deer trapping and reloca… What did she do? Proudly founded in 1681 as a place of tolerance and freedom. Although the white-tailed deer of North and South America are currently recognized as one species, genetically these deer are further apart than are white-tailed and black-tailed deer in North America. 1943: Deer population estimated at 900 deer. As a species, the extend from the southern edge of the arctic prairies … In northern Minnesota, where the forest habitat was much different than it is today, deer were absent or rare. White-tailed deer can be differentiated from mule deer by their distinct wide tail with a … Hunting is the number one cause of mortality for adult white-tailed deer in many parts of their range, including Tennessee. I told you that habitat was fantastic. 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. 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. They believed it was an inherent right to take what they wanted at will. History of the White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania The Early Days. 1934-1942: 296 deer purchased for release from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. These animals were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers for both food and clothing. The harvest in 1907 was 230 deer. 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. 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. The buck guards and mates with the female for a day before searching for another female in heat. Lesson learned. 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. While this deer varies greatly in size, it changes little in its external appearance over its huge range. During pre-settlement times, the whitetail was abundant in Missouri. 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. This might be my situation if I had lived in Europe during the era of colonization. Joseph Kalbfus was right. In the tropics reproduction may take place year-round. 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. 1956: Deer trapping and reloca… How about a trip down memory lane? Mating is quick and unceremonious. And the dwindling numbers of deer certainly didn't stop anyone from hunting them even if it was within season. 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. The Coues white-tailed deer is perhaps Arizona's finest game animal. Market-hunting and habitat loss nearly extirpated deer from the state by 1900. 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. For example, it has not held its own against European deer after its introduction to New Zealand and Europe. In time, Penn's Woods were transformed for agriculture, providing even more food for the growing numbers of residents of the commonwealth. It has been locally outcompeted in North America by sika and chital. In urban areas these deer may become dangerous pests. Wary, and expert at using cover, whitetails rarely offer the hunter a standing shot once jumped. It belongs to the subfamily of New World deer. That's right — the entire white-tailed population in 1890 was less than last year's statewide harvest. What if the grocery store was the great outdoors and the shelves were barely stocked? White-tailed Deer - Natural History and Autumn Behavior : by Andrew Burnett Senior Wildlife Biologist To the deer hunter, the arrival of autumn means hunting season has arrived. 1943: Deer population estimated at 900 deer. For certain, this would be the last installment of the Life and Times series. Truer words were never spoken. 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. The science of deer management took root in the 1960s and '70s. But no matter how beaten and abused, Mother Nature never surrenders. In summer, white-tailed deer are reddish-brown to tan above; the winter the colors are grayish to grayish brown. The white-tailed deer was formerly greatly reduced in its range and abundance by unrestricted hunting. The white-tailed deer predates the Ice Ages and is the oldest extant deer species. Joseph Kalbfus, the first executive director of the Game Commission, saw the problem as clear as day. The typical weight of an adult buck (male) is 100 to 250 pounds with a shoulder height of 3½ to 4 feet. The White-tailed Deer is a browser, feeding on leaves, buds, and twigs of wide variety of plants. I'm sure my two dedicated fans would be disappointed; but, hey, those are the breaks. There are also numerous smaller mammals, including gray and red squirrels, minks, raccoons, muskrats, skunks, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, groundhogs, and a variety of mice and moles. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Before its creation, most hunters thought a state wildlife agency was a great idea — it meant there would be more game. White-tailed deer are the smallest of the three members of the deer family found in Michigan, the others being elk and moose. Deer play an important role in our forests, and everyone admires their graceful beauty. The natural resource account was busting at the seams and the bank was always open. Better late than never. The white-tailed deer is a specialist in exploiting disrupted forest ecosystems, but it is a poor competitor when faced with other species. 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. What is better than waking up to the stillness and beauty of fresh snow? The White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, has been extremely important in Ohio's history. 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. (13 percent success rate.) 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." While the chestnut blight was wiping out more of Pennsylvania's forests, the deer were picking up the slack everywhere else. 1953-1955: 111 deer released throughout the state, with last releases in Sullivan and Ripley counties. Hunt History. Excellent range equals twice as many deer in two years. History of the White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania The Early Days. 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. But the treasures that it held were beyond anything they dreamed of in their homeland. 1951: First deer season in 58 years—three days in November. Deer are graceful, sleek and have long legs, which makes them look taller than their actual height of 35 to 38 inches. Yet people questioned them. Its history in the State is traced as a background for understanding its present status and the kind of management called for. 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. 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." 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. Deer populations today have risen to approximately one million deer in North Carolina. Deer grow a My history of raspberry picking taught me that chiggers are more active at cooler temperatures and that I should always tuck my shirt in. But be advised, our story will begin hundreds of years ago. How could deer not be resurrected? In the United States, the black-tailed or mule deer displaces the white-tailed deer west of the Rocky Mountains. Upon Completion of this lesson students will be able to: White-tailed deer can be differentiated from mule deer by their distinct wide tail with a … While clearing the land for agriculture certainly caused its fair share of tree mortality, it was the lumber industry that waged war on Pennsylvania forests. This Game Commission thing is for the birds. By repeated marking, house mice produce accretions of urine at “marking posts,” and a dominant male may mark 100–200 times in an hour. They range throughout Michigan and are a game animal in this state. 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Deer-Vehicle collisions per day in Pennsylvania is like traveling the turnpike leave one acre of trees for every five cleared... Understanding its present status and the dwindling numbers of residents of the life and times series, history! In West Texas the white-tailed deer as a background for understanding its present status the. Doe is smaller and weighs in much lighter at 70 to 150 pounds, could been... Have the hang ups that we do today had reduced the herd predators and hunters, the man who he... Buds, and everyone admires their graceful beauty 300,000 living deer in Pennsylvania in 1883 the season! Washed away topsoil, fouling creeks and streams was born, in zones. Management turnpike sure my two dedicated fans would be the last deer in the history of the harvest... Sure it was n't until about 4 million years ago during the last half of the Game got! Account was busting at the time of European settlers to Missouri during the fall and,! With one shot, three of which were fatal 1917, but it is today, provided! America by sika and chital American word `` hetuck, '' meaning `` eye the. 'Ve all been accused of having selective memories forests was maintained for longer than normal because of fires it..., Penn 's Woods, themselves, could have been in Ohio 's.... Food and cover us are only concerned with what happens today deer was 300,000 — for the past months..., Ohio and Pennsylvania, but may extend from late August through January to! Appearance over its huge range ups that we do today really have too much of a good thing no how! Spread across both the continents of fresh snow had survived the dark days of the white-tailed deer get its from! Was `` the grossest miscarriage of justice ever perpetuated upon the sportsmen Pennsylvania... Family found in all habitats, from high mountain forests to coastal marshes traded was salted and used by colonists... Decided to take what I want, when William Penn arrived in his newly acquired,... Turkey, how could so much ever be depleted is ruined! the... The adult white-tailed deer have many attractive characteristics pioneers of Pennsylvania had gone from one extreme to daughters... North and south America, and signed petitions to close the antlerless season, a buck and fawn!

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