Solving Problems with Deer

Solving Problems with Deer
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-04-27
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Solving Problems with Deer
Unit 2Transcript: Solving Problems with Deer
Unit 3Workbook: Solving Problems with Deer
Unit 4Recording: Solving Problems with Deer

The ideal deer habitat is forested areas with a mix of open grassy areas and dense vegetation. Deer, however, end up in urban areas due to characteristics of human settlements that are appealing for deer like access to food cover. While deer are mostly harmless, their presence may pose problems to humans. This webinar explores the most common deer species found in the US, the conflicts humans typically have with deer, and prevention and intervention measures to address these conflicts.

Leading the discussion is John Griffin, the Senior Director of Urban Wildlife Programs for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). His role includes overseeing field and policy programs focused on implementing humane and effective approaches to resolving wildlife conflicts.

Specifics of the discussion include:

  • The deer species common in the contiguous US states – their distinguishing characteristics, habitat, diet, behavior, and a history of their co-existence with humans in the last 500 years.
  • Understanding the deer “seasons” that may cause potential conflicts with humans
    • Roaming and aggressive bucks during rut season that may cause deer-vehicle collisions.
    • Baby season that increases the likelihood of humans seeing “abandoned” fawns.
    • Antler shedding season which may pose concerns for humans.
  • Browse problems: How these can be prevented and alleviated through planting strategies, scare devices, repellants, and exclusions – and resources to effectively implement these.
  • The different browsing animals, identifiers to distinguish which animal is browsing, and the value in the ability to identify the browsing animals in being able to employ the appropriate deterrent.
  • Abandoned fawn issues: When they usually happen, the common assumptions and response of humans to this, and what must be done when this happens.
  • Protocols to observe when reuniting “kidnapped abandoned fawns” with the deer mom, and indications that a doe is actually the fawn’s mom.
  • The three valid abandoned fawn scenarios that justify intervening and calling a rehabilitator.
  • Perils that deer face in urban areas – being stuck in urban structures like fences and soccer nets, and ending up on roads causing traffic issues and vehicle collisions.
  • Guidelines to take note of when intervening in deer stuck situations emphasizing safety for both the human responding to the scene and the animal.
  • Measures to mitigate deer in roads and vehicle collision incidents through data collection, hotspot identification, enforcing speed limits, putting up traffic signages to alert drivers, and recognizing what attracts deer to the roads.
  • Lyme disease: What it is, the type of tick that is its primary vector, how it is transmitted, and effective ways to prevent it.
  • How deer can be hosts to Lyme disease-carrying ticks but not spread it.
  • Why localized deer removal is counterintuitive to controlling the spread of Lyme disease.
  • The importance of having a Deer Conflict Management Plan in place to reduce human-deer conflicts, effectively resolve the conflicts, and prevent the unnecessary killing of deer.

Questions raised by webinar attendees are on:

  • Information about Sika deer.
  • The adverse outcomes of feeding deer to both humans and the deer.
  • Educating the public about the prohibition to rehabilitate fawns with Chronic Wasting Disease.
  • The link between feeding deer and the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.
  • Information on the effectiveness of immunocontraception and using it as a form of population control.



Other Webinars with HSUS


Or, click here to register and view other Animal Welfare webinars and recordings on the JCH website. 


Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Just a great overview for those not familiar with this particular animal and the browsing comparisons were real great too! Lots of awesome info that I will definitely use as a reference.” — Jillian
  • “I learned so much about White Tailed deer, and I’ve been living in a state with many of them for most of my life. I had no idea that fawn “kidnapping” was a thing, and now I know what to do about it if I or someone I know encounters such a situation.” — Linda
  • “The part about Lyme disease was very informative and is one of the most often asked questions regarding deer.” — Felix
  • “I learned new things, as well as a variety of useful tips and tricks.” — Brendan




This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.



Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues.



This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.




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