Staten Island Deer Management Plan Lacks Forethought

Staten Island, New York, has a white-tailed deer problem. They have a plan to address the suburban deer issues that the area is facing, but numerous credible sources all agree… the Staten Island deer population will not be controlled using the techniques the city intends to implement. It’s sad, because they plan to spend $2 million to address deer.

The thing is, in every part of the US, hunters are lined up and willing to pay for the opportunity to hunt whitetail. In my book, direct removal is a much better and more practical solution.

New York Post: “This proposal has no chance of success whatsoever,” said Dr. Paul Curtis, a Cornell University deer expert. You see, Mr. Mayor, when a boy deer loves a girl deer very, very much . . .

In reality, female white-tailed deer go into heat in the autumn rutting season. They emit a powerful scent that attracts males, who chase them and battle each other until every last doe is pregnant. Normally, the rut lasts a month or two.

But with bucks shooting blanks, the does will go into heat repeatedly throughout the fall and winter. They would become “buck magnets,” according to a Cornell study. “Every 30 days or so for up to six months, right into March,” said Dr. Bob Warren of The Deer Laboratory at the University of Georgia.

The hot-to-trot does could attract bucks from near and far for many more months — including still-potent potential mates swimming over from New Jersey. That, of course, would be the exact opposite of the city’s goal — which is to reduce Staten Island’s deer population. A 2014 survey found 763 deer in the borough, up from 24 in 2008. But an influx of horny New Jersey deer is the least of the plan’s problems, according to experts.

“It won’t even get to that point,” Curtis said, “because I think it would be extremely difficult to get even 50 percent of the bucks” in order to sterilize them. Even a few intact bucks can keep the herd growing exponentially.

Managing for wildlife and habitat