New Yorkers greatly appreciate white-tailed deer. People enjoy them in many ways. However, deer often cause problems for farmers, homeowners and foresters and can cause road hazards. If not properly managed, deer numbers can increase dramatically. This increases problems for people and impairs the condition of the deer. It also damages the habitat of deer and other wildlife. The Department of Environmental Conservation tries to manage deer numbers. The goal is to balance deer with their habitat, human land uses and recreational interests. Ecological concerns and the needs of landowners, hunters, and other interest groups must be considered.
The Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State, 2012-2016 outlines the components of DEC's deer program and provides strategic direction to focus management efforts where they can best meet the biological and social demands associated with deer.
The plan describes six primary goals that encompass the current priorities for deer management and the values and issues expressed by the public:
Manage deer populations at levels that are appropriate for human and ecological concerns;
Promote and enhance deer hunting as an important recreational activity, tradition, and population management tool in New York;
Reduce negative impacts caused by deer;
Foster public understanding and communication about deer ecology, deer management, economic aspects and recreational opportunities;
Manage deer to promote healthy and sustainable forests and enhance habitat conservation efforts to benefit deer and other species; and
Ensure that the necessary resources are available to support sound management of white-tailed deer in New York.