“Nope , no one has given me any answer as to why the hunting industry is "producing" deer as usual but not surprised because NOT ONE hunting forum I have been to could a wildlife serial killers explain all that "production" of deer from hunting industry .”
We have. We’ve explained first that a number of other factors besides hunting that can and have caused increased deer numbers: They included removal of apex predators, like wolves and mountain lion, that would have contributed to the acute mortality (immediate kill-offs) of deer and controlling the deer population. Some reasons for removal of predators were because of increased human settlement and need for human safety and protection of livestock farming. Removal of predators weren’t and aren’t done by sport hunters so that sport hunters can have more deer to kill. Another reason is increased land use for crop agriculture as well as suburban living with our appetizing (to deer) gardens and orchards; being ‘edge habitat’ animals, deer thrive in areas where woodland forest meets human suburbia and farmland – and with removal of predators (for human, pets and livestock safety rather than for more deer) deer flourish even more. Deer have adapted for other reasons like certain forest clearing so the deer feed on fast-growing plants and use the remaining trees and thickets for shelter. Also, ‘protection’ of deer via land posting and urban sprawl and so hunting bans. Also, the fact that deer are prodigious reproducers anyway, maturing by 2-3 years and typically able to give birth to twins every year, which, in context of other factors described and predator removal for human safety, enables the deer to flourish in much greater numbers. These are some of the reasons, other than hunting, that can cause and have caused increased deer production.
Yes, hunting can in some scenarios increase deer production, but the increase is as a result of nonhunting factors as well (e.g., a couple of unseasonably mild winters and year-round plentiful food supply of browse, forbs and grasses [not necessarily corn, soya beans and feeding plots]) in conjunction with hunting – increases are not usually hunting-alone-induced, I don’t think. Again, as already mentioned in answer to your deer “productivity”/increase questions, wildlife management plans that use hunting as a management tool in such a way that does increase population like a bucks only to very limited doe hunt, or even the other way round.
I think what you overlook is that, as also mentioned, deer populations are never stable or stagnant for long periods. Deer populations are dynamic and fluctuate for a variety of reasons, most of which are in the hands of mother nature, but also because humans have changed the nature of nature, and less in the hands of hunting. Hunting is used to remove the surplus deer of a given deer population allowing the herd to “rebound” (another term you’ve used to illustrate hunting’s production/increase) the following year. “Surplus deer” being the difference in total deer that a parcel of habitat can support in winter vs. summer). What it does is maybe not so much “reduce” deer but keep the population healthy with quality deer (and so quality/healthy habitat). Hunting regulates or keeps in check the deer herd at a quality healthy and so at levels consistent with quality of habitat. The result of an optimal animal-habitat ratio (which is only short-lived because nature is dynamic and not static) achieved during a one-time hunt is that it leaves a healthy number of quality (healthy and stronger) deer (a number that won’t eat itself out of house and home, and fewer deer eating our vegan food crops), going into winter and early spring in better condition with less winter die-offs, and so more reproductively successful deer as well with does able to carry their twins, or triplets, to term. In this one-time hunt deer numbers have been lowered. While hunting can give deer a ‘fighting chance’, then deer increase their population all on their own during the off season to a level depending on the kind of winter, habitat changes that have nothing to do with hunters/hunting, and other nonhunting factors. Then, hunters come back the next season. Hunting doesn't reduce to a cold stop in further increase of the deer population growth as such (unless wildlife management is so badly done to cause such), rather hunting slows down a population explosion, since the deer will reproduce to a great extent without nonhuman predators and our land-use practices. Yes, some management plans do see a bigger increase in deer the following months. This happens in conjunction with other factors (that may not be all hunter/hunting caused). So, wildlife management readjusts the bag limits and kind of deer to be killed, the duration of each kind of the hunt, etc. There are other nonhunting factors involved that resulting in deer numbers every season. If one hunting season does result in exceptionally reduced deer numbers, one can use the same strategy the next season and may get the opposite effect.
You talk of how deer can control their populations without the need of serial killings by hunting. That is, nature has given the deer reproductive strategies to limit overall deer numbers, like aborting or reabsorbing embryos, having stillborns, producing single fawns instead of twins or triplets, and altering sex ratios by producing more of one gender than the other. Thereby, demonstrating hunting is not needed or can mess things up since nature already has her own way of regulating deer numbers and sustain the population in ‘balance’ with their habitat’s available food and cover. Iow, a healthy enough habitat that and can restore itself during deer population cycles and support healthy enough deer. Deer populations can increase and then crash and then rebound without too much damage to habitat quality (and other nonhuman animals up and down the food chain) and deer quality. This can be true when all elements of nonhuman nature are in place. Most especially when acute decimating factors (predators and harsh winters that result in immediate deer kill offs) and chronic decimating factors (where deer die over time from starvation, malnutrition, disease) are in place and in relative ‘balance.’ But, this situation is not had today, not since expanded human settlement:
Today, as has been explained, things are different: Top predators have been removed (not for hunting, but to keep humans and their animal property safe). This, along with things like logging practices and crop agriculture, housing and road development have enabled deer to thrive. But, without nature’s acute mortality factor, deer cannot control their populations in a healthy and balanced way. Deer, you need to understand, are a species adapted to predation and so cannot maintain stable, healthy populations if predation is removed. Harsh winters can help, but predation, too, is exceptionally important in fecund prey species control. We humans have left an important eco vacuum (predation). The main deer population controlling mechanism now is chronic mortality where deer die over time (sometimes years), which means before succumbing to death deer can degrade significantly their habitat, impacting negatively their own future survival and the survival of other fauna sustained by the same habitat. This has already happened (Kaibab).
Without nature’s predators, such an important controlling mechanism for deer populations, were we to ban hunting and other human-induced deer mortality, the deer population really would explode. Deer would decimate their cover areas of all browse, affecting all the other animals who share the same habitat (squirrels won’t have enough acorns so they’ll feed on more birds eggs, so the number of birds go down, etc., etc.), then deer will eat our crops and damage croplands. The deer can still survive even as the food base collapses. They just begin to become malnourished, weaken, starve, and over time a population crash with mass die offs and fewer births. It is less likely that the habitat can restore itself and deer population rebound and even be healthy. Fertility readjustments may not be enough to help the deer maintain enough numbers and in good enough health.
So, the choice becomes one of taking responsibility by human hunter killing some now healthy/quality deer so that the remaining deer have more plentiful nutritious browse, decreasing winter death rates and increasing birth rates = maintaining quality/healthy deer and quality habitat. Then, coming back to kill more quality/healthy deer, and doing this on a regular annual basis. Or – in context of fragmented habitat, too fewer or no top predators, land development, etc. - we can risk letting mother nature take her own course by over time degrading habitat, producing unhealthy, weak, struggling deer that become fewer and fewer and no more as food and cover disappear.
Certainly, wildlife agencies may use hunting strategies that cater to hunters’ benefit and pleasure of having the same deer numbers or more deer to hunt. Probably because hunter are the main financial contributors whose money goes to the conservation (as well as acquisition of more land, education and research, and animal preservation/nonconsumptive) for land they hunt on and the land which the nonhunting public is able to enjoy as well. What of it? Most everything has to pay for itself; otherwise it doesn’t justify its continuance. Actually, nonhunters have contributed to land acquisition and so we can use the land each in our own way – hiking, photographing wildlife, or hunting. Also, lots of nongame refuges to support and enjoy by all, hunter or nonhunter.
So, there you have the answer again. I’m not saying it’s all true. Whatever, you may regard it as a load of drivel, that’s fine. But, don’t say no one has answered your question. Maybe you mean no one has answered your question to your satisfaction or that accord with your opinions on the matter.
Last edited by Reeves on Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.