Abundant Deer Roam The United States Despite Predators, Winter, Traffic And Hunting

The United States is increasingly urban and wild lands are shrinking. But wildlife still exists and some thrive. Abundant deer, for example, can be found everywhere in the country.

According to A-Z Animals the national population is estimated to be up to 36 million. That is nearly as many as the number of people in California, estimated at 39 million. The numbers have been rising steadily.

a whitetail deer on a snow covered field
Deer have become abundant in the United States ad present a number of management challenges.Photo by Deloris Augustine on Pexels.com

The deer family (Cervids) is quite large. The United States is home to 5 native species, and a number of subspecies. The natives include whitetail and mule deer. Moose, Caribou (known as reindeer in Europe) and elk are also members of the deer family.

The population is large but millions of deer die each year. According to Deer and Deer Hunting website the number of deer that die annually is staggering. The website recognizes four main wild deer predators, coyotes (canis latrans) wolves (Canis lupus) black bears (Ursus americanus ) and mountain lions (Puma concolor). The statistics it gives are for whitetail deer.

The website estimates that there are about 5 million coyotes in the United States. About 500,000 of them are killed by humans in coyote control efforts. The survivors eat an estimated (by the website) 3 million deer a year. Most of them are fawns. Fawns are also killed by black bears. Bears may number 600,000 nationally and about 50,000 are killed by people annually. Those survivors are said to kill about 1.5 million deer annually.

Black Bear Cub We spotted this
Black Bear Cub We spotted this by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0 Black bears may not be the first predator that comes to min in connection with deer but they are predatory omnivores and eat many fawns annually.

The website claims that wolves kill about 1 million whitetail deer annually. Most of that must be in Canada as wolves are fairly uncommon in the contiguous United States.

Human hunters kill an estimated 6 million deer annually and about two million die in traffic accidents. Despite the carnage deer numbers appear to be increasing. Human proximity has apparently benefited deer. Human development has opened forage land to deer that was denied in very heavily forested land. They eat garden greenery, crops, and other vegetation once denied them. Abundant deer can become a problem for state wildlife management as they impinge on human property and cause damage.

Wolves like this one andthe smaller coyote eat deer at all life stages. Coyotes eat mostly juvenile deer while wolves consume many adults.

Managing deer populations can be a difficult task. Pennsylvania authoritis recently wrestled with deer leaping to their death from an overpass. Although their agendas vary greatly state traffic wildlife authorities, federal land managers, conservationists, hunters and landowners all work together on deer management.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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