Comprehensive Deer Management Program Montgomery County, MD. Rob Gibbs Natural Resources Manager M-NCPPC, Montgomery Dept of Parks

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1 Comprehensive Deer Management Program Montgomery County, MD Rob Gibbs Natural Resources Manager M-NCPPC, Montgomery Dept of Parks

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5 Deer Impacts Deer-vehicle Collisions (DVCs) Depredation to agricultural crops Impacts to natural vegetation esp. in parks Depredation to ornamental shrubs/gardens Lyme disease

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7 Deer-vehicle Collisions Montgomery County, MD - MCPD No. of Accidents Notes: - #s represent only accidents involving police response - The actual number is likely much higher. - DVCs are correlated with several factors including: # of deer, # of cars, speed of cars, etc YEAR

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9 Agricultural Damage

10 Deer impacts to the ecosystem Reduction of Wildlife food Cover Plant diversity Forest regeneration Bird species Small mammals

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16 Lyme Disease Incidence, Maryland, Incidence per 100, Maryland overall: 45.1 / 100, Kent Carroll Howard Queen Anne's Frederick Cecil Calvert Talbot Caroline Harford Washington Montgomery Somerset Anne Arundel Baltimore Charles Wicomico Worcester Prince George's Allegany Baltimore City Garrett Dorchester St. Mary's 14

17 Brief History County Council appointed Citizen Task Force to study white-tailed deer published report April Deer Mgt Work Group (DMWG) formed - charged with developing and implementing a deer mgt plan based on Task Force recommendations. Management plan approved August First managed hunts held in parks - Fall 1996, after extensive public process. DMWG annually reviews data, publishes a report including deer mgt recommendations for upcoming year.

18 Deer Management Work Group (DMWG) M-NCPPC, Mont. Co. Dept of Parks Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources M.C. Police Dept. Maryland Cooperative Extension National Park Service Washington Suburban Sanitary Comm. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Ctr.

19 Comprehensive Management Plan Goal: Reduce deer-human conflicts to a level compatible with human priorities and land uses. Reduce Deer-vehicle Collisions Reduce depredation to agricultural crops and ornamental shrubs/gardens reduce impacts to natural vegetation and preserve natural diversity of MC Develop countywide education program

20 Implemented to date: Educational Efforts 1 Informational brochure Reference materials available in public libraries, through MCE, deer info web page.

21 Implemented to date: Educational Efforts 2 Educational Programs - local cable TV & Nature Centers Homeowner workshops - over 1500 citizens and landscaping professionals have attended. Developed by MD Cooperative Extension Focus on home landscape protection - also address DVCs and Lyme disease May 2008 Lyme Disease Awareness Month Brochure, webpage. (Dept of Health)

22 Implemented to date: To Address Deer-vehicle Collisions Improved data collection and mapping Seasonal PSAs to remind and warm public Safety info on Cable TV traffic station Work with Road Agencies to improve Fencing, and road design especially bridges Work with Washington Area Council of Govts (COG) wildlife subcommittee to identify and address regional DVC issues Produced a 12 minute video Fall 06 cable TV, driver s Ed classes

23 Implemented to date: To reduce damage to landscaping Fencing, repellents, habitat alteration used in parks and by the public. Changed County Code to allow 8 deer fencing in side and back yards and all agricultural land.

24 Implemented to date: To manage deer populations: Adjustments to legal bag limits DNR To increase antlerless harvest. Streamlined Deer Management Permit program for farmers - DNR Managed hunts and sharpshooting operations in selected State & County parks DNR, MC Parks

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27 Deer Populations in Selected Parks Little Bennett RP Ag/History FP N. Branch SVP Black Hill RP Rachel Carson CP Goshen Rec. P Rock Creek RP All numbers represent deer per square mile. Counts done in late winter before fawning.

28 Annual Deer-auto Collisions on roads near Managed Hunt Sites - by Year Location Change Seneca Crk State Park (89%) Little Bennett Reg. Park (84%) Ag/History Farm Park (33%)

29 Deer Reduction Methods Lottery-Based Managed Shotgun Hunting Parkland with site constraints Need to control deer, with additional supervision required for public safety Group Hunting Program (Suburban Whitetail Management of Maryland Inc. (SWMM) Large tracts in low populated areas Need to control deer, with minimal public safety concerns Sharpshooting Program Highly sensitive, highly developed areas

30 Lottery-Based Managed Hunts Open to public who meet our requirements DNR license, shooter qualifications, statement of hunter ethics, background check, etc. Hunters chosen by lottery Hunt at pre-determined, marked locations Parks are closed to public during hunting days

31 Group Hunting Program Work with Hunting Group Requirements: Insurance, shooting standards, background checks, demonstrated ability to harvest deer, etc. Under park guidelines, the Group does much of the hunt coordination site selection, hunter schedules, data collection Requires limited Park staff supervision

32 Sharpshooting Program Used in smaller parks in more developed areas Specially trained Park Police Shooters Coordinated by Park Wildlife Staff Operate between 6:00 PM and 1:00 AM Utilize suppressed rifle, red lens spotlight & vehicles with elevated shooting platform Minimum community disturbance with maximum productivity All animals processed by volunteers All meat donated to charity

33 Sharpshooting

34 Park Deer Harvests Deer harvests for M.C. Park s Deer Population Management Program by Year. Fiscal Year Totals Lottery Hunts ,265 SWMM Coop Hunts ,822 Tenant DMP Hunts Sharpshooting ,069 Total Deer Harvest , ,405 10,652

35 Countywide Deer Program Harvests Deer harvests for all hunts associated with County Deer Program. Totals Antlerless % Antlerless County hunting harvest (DNR) 5,969 4, % Sharpshooting (mont Co Parks) % DNR Deer Mgt Permits (Mont. Co) % Total County Harvest 6,887 5, % M-NCPPC Park program total 1,405 1, % Dickerson -MC-DSW % Seneca mgt hunts (all) % WSSC mgd hunts (Mont Co only) % Total County Deer Program Harvest 2,029 1, % Percentage of total county harvest 29.46% 35.02%

36 Comprehensive Deer Mgt. Plan County level program Deer Mgt. Work Group Public input Cooperative efforts: Private landowners, Govt. and Non-govt. agencies Goal: to reduce deer impacts in order to reach a balance between deer and human needs.

37 Goal: to reach a balance Deer population High Low Human tolerance Education & non-lethal mgt. Population management

38 Goal: to reach a balance Human tolerance Deer population Education & management Population management

39 Goal: to reach a balance Human tolerance Deer population Education & management Population management

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