Deer Management for Forest Landowners and Managers  book cover
1st Edition

Deer Management for Forest Landowners and Managers

ISBN 9781466580169
Published May 1, 2019 by CRC Press
422 Pages 96 B/W Illustrations

USD $69.95

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Book Description

One of the biggest management problems for forest landowners and managers is browsing by overabundant deer herds that simplifies habitat and reduces species composition and abundance of plant and wildlife communities.

This book addresses deer biology, management of deer, and deer impact on private and public forestlands. It integrates information on deer biology and human dimensions aspects including culture, values, politics, and financial and human resources, into development and implementation of comprehensive management of people and deer.

Additional audiences are wildlife educators, deer hunters, and administrators of natural resource agencies who affect deer density and impact on forest resources by regulating deer hunting.

The book is written by wildlife and forestry scientists, consultants, managers, and educators with over 350 years of collective experience in managing deer impacts on forest resources. It includes nine case histories of deer management on forestlands ranging from small woodlots to large commercial operations and state/national forests. 

Praise for Deer Management for Forest Landowners and Managers:


“If you’re a forest landowner serious about managing your deer and woods this book is for you.” 

Kip Adams, Quality Deer Management Association


“This book is an extensive resource for deer and timber management and is a hands-on manual that includes extensive review of relevant literature. 

David Samuel, Bowhunter Magazine


“This book provides definitive answers to the questions of how to accomplish deer management in … the face of large deer populations. It belongs on the reading list of every forest landowner.”

William F. Porter Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife


It captures the wealth of knowledge of the authors who understand deer as hunters, ecologists, managers and scientists.  It provides a leap forward in the who and how of deer and forest management.”

Peter Smallidge, Extension Forester


“This is a must read for landowners, deer and forest managers, and those studying forest ecology.” 

Merlin Benner, wildlife consultant 


“This book is a road map to restoring deer to their long-time place of balance, serving the common good for people and nature.”

 Allen Pursell, The Nature Conservancy

Table of Contents

Section 1 - Ecological and Human Factors

Chapter 2 – Autecology: Weather, Forest Type, and Habitat

Chapter 3 – Autecology: Landscape and Temporal Dimensions

Chapter 4 – Autecology: Social Structure and Landscape Use

Chapter 5 – Autecology: Reproduction and Recruitment

Chapter 6 – Synecology: Predation

Chapter 7 – Synecology: Parasites and Diseases

Chapter 8 – Synecology: Deer and Plant and Animal Communities

Chapter 9 – Human Factors: Hunters and Hunting

Chapter 10 – Human Factors: Science, Values, and Stakeholders

Chapter 11 – Human Factors: Deer/Forest Management Areas vs Deer Management Units

Chapter 12 – Human Factors: Landscape, Politics and Regulation

Chapter 13 – Deer and Silviculture

Chapter 14 – National and Regional Perspectives on Deer Management

Chapter 15 – Deer Density, Carrying Capacity, and Impact on Forest Resources

Section II –Planning and Assessment

Chapter 16 – Goals and Objectives

Chapter 17 – Monitoring

Chapter 18 – Deer Checking Stations

Chapter 19 – Financial and Human Resources

Section III – Managing Ecological and Human Factors

Chapter 20 – Reducing Deer Impact

Chapter 21 – Managing Vegetation and Habitat with Silviculture

Chapter 22 – Communicating with and Educating Stakeholders

Chapter 23 – Managing Hunters: The Four Rs

Chapter 24 – Managing Access and Antlerless Permits

Chapter 25 – Integrating Ecological and Human Factors in Deer Management

Chapter 26 – Adaptive Management

Section IV - Special Cases

Chapter 27 – Quality Deer Management

Chapter 28 – Small Woodlot Owners

Chapter 29 – Lease Hunting

Chapter 30 - Landscapes Closed to Deer Hunting—Forested Public Lands and Residential

Developments Special Case

Chapter 31 – Deer Cooperatives

Section V – Case Histories

Chapter 32 – Timberline Farms/Hyma Devore Lumber - The Power of Education

Chapter 33 - The West Branch Forest Preserve - Whittling Away at the Smorgasbord

Chapter 34 - The Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative -Integrating Ownerships and Goals

Chapter 35 – Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Park – Convincing the Decision-makers

Chapter 36 – The Mianus River Gorge - Incremental Adaptive Management

Chapter 37 – Restoring the Forests of Hemlock Farms - Educate, Educate, Educate

Chapter 38 - The Hamilton Small Woodlot -Managing Deer and Forests for Sustainable Outputs

Chapter 39 – The Brubaker Small Woodlot - Innovative Management of Deer Forage and Harvest

Chapter 40 – Competing Interests - Forest Regeneration (QDM) vs. Increased Deer Abundance


Appendix 1. Protocol for Estimating Deer Density by Pellet Group Counts, Deer Impact, and Deciduous and Coniferous Canopy Closure

Appendix 2. Protocol for Ageing Deer by Tooth Wear and Eruption

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David S. deCalesta received a BA in psychology from Dartmouth College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in wildlife ecology from Colorado State University. He began a life-long study of deer with a Ph.D. thesis on mule deer nutrition and physiology in 1970. Much of his work as Extension Wildlife Specialist and university teacher and researcher in Zoology (North Carolina State University) and Wildlife Ecology and Forest Science (Oregon State University) focused on deer (mule, black-tailed, and white-tailed) interactions with forest vegetation and wildlife communities. His work as a research wildlife biologist with the USDA Forest Service featured interactions between white-tailed deer and forest plant and animal communities. He spent the last third of his career as a wildlife consultant and forest certification specialist (Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative), primarily working with deer-forest interactions on forest ownerships ranging from dozens to thousands of ha on private and public forestlands, including state parks and forests and National Forests. With Timothy Pierson, he coordinated the activities of the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative, which demonstrated how public hunting could be managed to reduce deer density and impact to levels enhancing diversity and sustainability of forest products and wildlife and vegetative communities.

Michael C. Eckley received a B.S. in Forest Resources Management with a minor in Communications from West Virginia University and an M.S. in Forestry at the University of Maine-Orono. His career has centered on eastern hardwood forest management and assisting private land ownerships throughout the eastern United States. Much of his time is devoted to outreach and education along with specialization in assessing forest conditions, planning, and promoting responsible forestry practices. Mike is a Society of American Foresters (SAF) Certified Forester and is currently employed by The Nature Conservancy, serving as their Forestry Manager for the Working Woodlands Program ( 


"If you’re a forest landowner serious about managing your deer and woods then this book is for you."

-Kip Adams QDMA


"This book is an extensive resource for deer and timber management as well as all aspects of human dimensions. However, it is also a hands-on manual (see chapters 11,12, 13, 21, and the case studies), with an extensive review of all important background literature. As such, it will hold an important place in the library of a diverse readership." 

-Dave Samuel  


"There is perhaps no one better qualified to speak to the issue of integrating deer and forest management than the authors in this book..... This book provides the definitive answers. It belongs on the reading list of every forest landowner."

-William F. Porter, Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife
  Michigan State University

“This book is an extensive resource for deer and timber management and is a hands-on manual that includes extensive review of relevant literature."

David Samuel, Bowhunter Magazine

“It captures the wealth of knowledge of the authors who understand deer as hunters, ecologists, managers and scientists.  It provides a leap forward in the who and how of deer and forest management.”

Peter Smallidge, Extension Forester

Deer Management for Forest Landowners and Managers provides an overview of the complexities of managing overabundant white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in forested landscapes… It provides readers with the basics of managing deer in a complex environment…and highlights the topics of deer biology and ecology, human dimensions, planning and assessment, communicating with stakeholders, and specific case examples to illustrate the authors' points of addressing these complex management challenges. This book would be beneficial to students, land managers, and biologists with an interest in understanding the complexities of deer management and how others (the case histories) navigated a variety of deer management challenges. Communicating with and Educating Stakeholders was one of my favorite chapters because of the in-depth discussion on developing an effective communication program and the dissemination of the management plan through a variety of media outlets (e.g., websites, social media)… while taking into account and understanding stakeholder perspectives and desires.

Andrew R. Little, University of Nebraska‐Lincoln, The Wildlife Society