1917 – Total statewide deer population estimated at 500 animals. Keywords: white tailed deer, history, impact on natural resources Prepared by: David Jackson, Extension Educator Lesson Plan Grade Level: 6-12th Total Time Required for Lesson: 3 hours classroom and research time Setting: Classroom, library, computer room Topics: history, population shifts, impact on natural resources Goals for the Lesson. White-tailed deer were plentiful in Maryland at the time of settlement in the 1600s, but at density levels much lower than those observed today in most parts of the state. Deer are graceful, sleek and have long legs, which makes them look taller than their actual height of 35 to 38 inches. But it is true. Unless it has some life-altering effect (like being covered in chigger bites from the waist to the knees), most of our past is archived and only browsed occasionally at family functions. 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. White­tail deer are able to sur­vive in a va­ri­ety of ter­res­trial habi­tats, from the big woods of north­ern Maine to the deep saw grass and ham­mock swamps of Florida. And why not? White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were common in Delaware when European settlers first arrived. White-tailed deer are the smallest member of the deer family in North America, ranging in size from 150 to 310 pounds for bucks and 90 to 210 pounds for does. In the United States, the black-tailed or mule deer displaces the white-tailed deer west of the Rocky Mountains. White-tailed deer are the smallest of the three members of the deer family found in Michigan, the others being elk and moose. The white-tailed deer population in North Carolina has made a dramatic turnaround. So what if I did live the "hard" life? History Prehistory. In the Americas, it is the most widely distributed wild ungulate. Hunting is the number one cause of mortality for adult white-tailed deer in many parts of their range, including Tennessee. During pre-settlement times, the whitetail was abundant in Missouri. Mr. Phillips is known as one of Pennsylvania's foremost conservationists yet he was not deterred from withdrawing the last buck from the Pennsylvania resource bank. I'm pretty sure it was added as the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not shoot does. Two years later the buck harvest was more than 1,200 and by 1920, buck harvest was 3,300; more than 16 times what it was just 13 years before. The Maryland White-tailed Deer Management Plan (‘the deer plan’) documents the history of white-tailed deer and white-tailed deer management in Maryland (information on basic white-tailed deer biology can be found in Appendix 1). 1956: Deer trapping and reloca… Deer were an integral part of Native American’s lives. 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. This might be my situation if I had lived in Europe during the era of colonization. White-tailed Deer In West Texas the white-tailed deer is a species that attracts a wide range of opinions. These animals were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers for both food and clothing. Truer words were never spoken. 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." The white-tailed deer is Pennsylvania's state animal. History of the White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania The Early Days. Joseph Kalbfus, the first executive director of the Game Commission, saw the problem as clear as day. Before its creation, most hunters thought a state wildlife agency was a great idea — it meant there would be more game. Well, I'm not quite sure I believe that but, the fact is, Pennsylvania was teaming with wildlife, and the effort required to obtain it was far less than anything experienced in the Old World. And the colonists did what anyone would do if they hit the lottery. The White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, has been extremely important in Ohio's history. Hunters and lawmakers cried foul and accused the Commission of selling out to farmers and foresters. In as little as 10 years, Pennsylvania had gone from having few deer to too many in some areas. I mean who can't live out the rest of their days with $164 million. Corrections? But the storm would gain strength and pound the landscape for decades. Some routes are burned into my brain, such as the 110 miles to State College or the 160 miles to Harrisburg. Better late than never. Compared to the dozen other large terrestrial herbivores that survived in North America, white-tailed deer have many attractive characteristics. Amnesia has two main features: an impaired ability to learn new information, and an impaired ability to recall past events. The history of white-tailed deer in Missouri shows the positive and negative influences humans can have on wildlife. Populations near extinction in the early 1900’s have rebounded due to … No one was turned away. That was pretty much the attitude of the general populous of Pennsylvania. 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. According to Game Commission records, 1,192 deer were purchased during that period. History has never been my favorite subject. This column has looked at deer hair and digestion, followed the glamorous life of a biologist, and busted some old wives' tales about our beloved state animal. We have been traveling together through Pennsylvania's deer management history for the past eight months. I told you that habitat was fantastic. As a result of this improved knowledge, antlerless allocations climbed to account for varying deer reproduction, habitat and harvest success in different areas of the state. By repeated marking, house mice produce accretions of urine at “marking posts,” and a dominant male may mark 100–200 times in an hour. White-tailed deer readily turn to orchards and other cultivated vegetation when available. I couldn't get enough of them. Now, Will recommended that "care be taken to leave one acre of trees for every five acres cleared." You've read about them in the paper, seen them on the news. Within 100 years, deer were threatened with extirpation in North Carolina, as well as in the entire United States. Deer History. Forgetting the common history of the whitetail exposes us to silly mistakes — like forgetting to tuck your shirt in while standing in waist high raspberry brambles in July. A four township area in Clearfield County had an estimated 1,000 dead fawns. History in Connecticut: Due to over-harvesting for venison and deerskins, market hunting, and a general loss of deer habitat caused by extensive clearing of the land for farming, white-tailed deer were uncommon in Connecticut from 1700 to approximately 1900. Jacklighting, salt licks, dogs – all were acceptable methods of meeting supply and demand. 1956: Deer trapping and reloca… Climate change has allowed the white-tailed deer to expand its presence in Canada in recent years. I remember this day in my personal history because it was unseasonably cool, and I got the worst case of chiggers in my life. These animals were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers for both food and clothing. The white-tailed deer predates the Ice Ages and is the oldest extant deer species. PDMA (Pennsylvania Deer Management Amnesia) has plagued the Game Commission for almost a century. They have excellent hearing due to their large, sensitive ears. 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 despite the claims of no deer left, Pennsylvania hunters harvested nearly 400,000 deer in 1997, the fourth highest harvest in history, despite an allocation that was the lowest it had been in the previous nine years. Mature males' antlers h… After five years of labor, the Game Commission was born, in 1895. However, its overabundance where protected from predation and from adequate hunting has led to severe damage to forestry and agriculture, to high levels of collisions with cars and trucks and resulting injuries and fatalities among motorists, as well as to an upswing in dangerous transmissible diseases such as Lyme disease. Williamsport became known as the lumber capital of the world, and in 1899 Pennsylvania hit its peak annual lumber production of 2.3 billion board feet. In the Americas, it is the most widely distributed wild ungulate. They spent their money. Penn's Woods, themselves, could have been classified as an endangered species. Upon Completion of this lesson students will be able to: Hunt History. Deer play an important role in our forests, and everyone admires their graceful beauty. 1951: First deer season in 58 years—three days in November. The White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, has been extremely important in Ohio's history. 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