The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Oh Deer!" 2009 Environmental Forum


Points of View with Thoughtful Questions

The Forest


The Forest POV & TQ Navigation

The Young, The Wise and the Forest    squirrel huggers    The Frightened Forest   

The Shrub Huggers     Forest Lovers   

Navigation to other POV pages

farmer, hunter, forest, forester, homeowner, insurance company, Others


Questions to All Forest Stakeholders

From:     Save the Deer - Other Stakeholder - NHHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009            9:35:00 AM

            how is the forest helpful



The Young, The Wise and the Forest Hampshire H.S.


REVISED  We as the people are representing the forest. We see that there are some problems

 with the deer population. Our point is that the forest is for the animals as well as everything

else. The deer influence the forest more than people might think. “White-tailed deer, through

browsing, have the ability to change plant communities where they live. The changes that can

impose on the forest occur over time and to the untrained-eye are subtle; however, to those

trained in the forest ecology and other fields, the changes can approach catastrophic” say

James C. Finley.   The deer need the forest for food and shelter. The forest has a lot of the

resources but when the deer start to over populate then the forests resources start to decline.

Deer help the forest by eating some of the plants so that others my grow and keep growing, but

too many deer eat too many plants, where as the older ones are dying, and new ones can’t grow

to keep the forest alive and support more life. To maintain this problem we propose that we

relocate, set up fences, or use fertility control to control the population of the deer. These

controls could be sponcered and funded by the Department of Natural Recources and the West

Virginia Department of Fish and Wildlife. Relocating them will move the deer to a place where

less deer are located. Setting up fences will prevent the deer from going into areas where the

forest is being revived. Fertility control will keep the deer from over populating. We also

agree that hunters should be allowed to hunt a few more deer for a year or so but still keep a

low limit. Using these methods of control would keep the population down and also bring the

population of plants back to a stable condition.  



Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

Thoughtful Questions

  From:   Simply for Nature - Other Stakeholder - SCHS

              Statement                                                                11/4/2009           11:03:00 AM

     Your third sentence says “the forest is for the animals,” so what do you consider deer? I

     agree that the deer do need the forest to survive, however fencing off areas is going to

     result in one area being high growth or completely useless to other animals. This is also

     very costly and a high maintenance solution. Fertility control is going to lower the

     number of people who want to hunt, because hunters aren’t going to want to hunt for

     deer who have unnatural hormones in them.


  From:   SUPER FORESTER - forester - NHHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009             9:31:00 AM

     How would keeping the bag limits lowered decrease the amount of deer that are

     around wouldnt this keep the population about the same?

       Response    The Young, The Wise and the Forest - forest - HHS

                                                                                       10/27/2009     11:35:00 AM

             We were trying to imply that the bad limit be rased to a few deer higher per

             person but not too high (not like 20 deer per person we meant about 6 per

             person) We thought that would lower the limit while still leaving plenty of

             deer to live healthy and well.


  From:   Harford Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009            9:30:00 AM

     Why do so many people believe harming deer is the thing to do? (unlike the forest)

       Response    The Young, The Wise and the Forest - forest - HHS

                                                                                       10/27/2009     11:38:00 AM

             We're not saying harming the deer is the only think to do but there is a

             program that if a person kills deer and does not want the meet it can be givin

              to people in need such as the poor and homeless. We would rather not harm

             alot of deer but yet find a better way to manage them thats why we put in

             other options we thought would be suitable and less harmful.


  From:   SUPER FORESTER - forester - NHHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009            9:29:00 AM

     If the deer have such a high population everywhere how will they be able to be

     relocated and where would they be put?

       Response    The Young, The Wise and the Forest - forest - HHS

                                                                                       10/27/2009     11:42:00 AM

             We mean't that insted of moving the deer to a place where its not going to

             make the population and better. We were trying to imply that we relocate the

              deer to another state where the population may be in danger where they

             would need to repopluate themselves.


  From:   JJCFARM - farmer - BGHS

              Statement                                                             10/26/2009            8:59:00 AM

     relocating deer would be costly.  deer are ment to live in the woods

  From:   BGHS homeowners - homeowner - BGHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009            8:55:00 AM

     how do deer eat plants

       Response    The Young, The Wise and the Forest - forest - HHS

                                                                                       10/27/2009     11:48:00 AM

             Deer graze through the forest and fields looking for whats good to eat.  And

              they strip the bark off the little trees and eat their leaves which can kill the





squirrel huggers- East Hardy H.S.


In this paper we are representing the forest. The forest is not as healthy as it should be, it is actually very unhealthy. The main problem would have too be the fact that the deer population has grown too large and has fallen out of their niche. They have been overgrazing and the forest is suffering. The plants that densely populated the forest floor a few years before no longer exist, and plants that used too be common can now only be found in a few remote places.
Number one the deer need too have their old natural predators back, we need too bring in more wolves and mountain lions. But the draw back too that is that because there is more suburban land now, the predators may pose a threat, so that may be hard too do. But its still an idea.
Another way too help the forest would be too put the deer proof fences around sections of it. Studies show that when an area of fenced off from an unfenced area the fenced area began too show a good bit of vegetation growth while the area outside of the fence had practically no vegetation growth. So if we were too do this on a larger scale it would eventually take care of the problem, but it alone wont be able too solve all the problems.
Another way too help fix this problem would be too let people kill more deer. Obviously if you were too kill more deer then obviously there would be less deer around, however hunters wont be pleased because hunting wont be as easy, but because of the deer population being too high, lots of the deer aren’t as healthy as they should be, and are diseased. The best thing too do would be too just go ahead and hunt more of them.
In our opinion over all the deer population isn’t going too just die off. We are going to have too take serious action against it and do it immediately. Each step that needs too be taken of course has its pros and cons and there may be lots of disagreeing with these steps, but too help save the forest and all the other animals action has too be taken.



Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

Thoughtful Questions

  From:   W.P.C.S. (Wildlife Population Control Specialists) - hunter - EHHS

              Statement                                                              11/17/2009            8:33:00 AM

     Just Beacause you put the fences up doesnt mean that the dear or any other animaal isint

      goint to jump over it or dig beneath it.So i think that is a unpractical way to stop the

     deer from grazing.


The Moderator: Very well thought out POV.  I do have a question.  Who do you think should be making decisions on how to manage the deer herd?

  From:   JJCFARM - farmer - BGHS

              Statement                                                             10/26/2009            9:02:00 AM

     the problems with preadators is they may eat livestock.  fence is an impractical way

     to keep deer out

       Response    squirrel huggers - forest - EHHS

                                                                                       10/28/2009     7:37:00 AM

             Well we proposed in our paper the fact that there were going too be pros and

             cons to any way to solve the deer problem, also we have stated to hunt the deer,

             Sure the predators could eat your livestock, but people dealt with it when the

             predators were plentiful so we dont see the problem, honestly it's either you

             introduce predators and lose a few livestock, or let the deer continue to

             overpopulate and destroy the enviorment......and fences IMPRACTICAL!!!!!!!,

             makes no sense honestly due to the fact that the goverment wastes enough money

              so why not put it into an issue that makes sense.

  From:   Forest Lovers - forest - JHS

              Ask                                                                       11/16/2009           12:35:00 PM

     What evidence do you have that our forests are unhealthy?

       Response    squirrel huggers - forest - EHHS

                                                                                       11/17/2009      8:26:00 AM

             Look around you....the plants in the forest dont grow as densely as they should,

             sure it looks fine too an untrained an inexperienced eye like ours or yours. But

             we bet if you talk too someone alot older than yourself they would have noticed a

              a change. we understand if you dont know what a healthy forest looks like, we

             dont either. But when you can see all the way back through a forest you could say

              there is a problem.




The Frightened Forest - Petersburg H.S


We are the Frightened Forest and we feel threatened by the overwhelming abundance of

deer. They ruthlessly masticate the helpless Ginseng, while neglecting the populous ferns

that hog the sunlight and choke the lives of innocent plants (Roach 2005). The savage

beasts slaughter the forest and offer nothing but malevolence. Something must be done.

  Allow us to explain our animosity toward these barbarians. It wasn’t always this way.

When the deer first migrated into our lush green forests, we very much enjoyed their

nibbling, which helped control our plant growth. Within a short time span, we began to

notice, although the ferns were prospering, our much more important vegetations were

being diminished before our eyes. Consider Ginseng: these plants are not only essential to

us, but also to the 10,000 people in West Virginia alone that harvest them. The tips of

these leaves are ferociously damaged by deer, making their survival less likely. “Using

computer models, the researchers concluded that, should the deer-foraging trend continue,

 the over-two-century-old Appalachian ginseng harvest tradition will soon end.” (Roach


  Another problem these savages have caused in our lands is the destruction of trees. Tree

seedlings used to be able to survive peacefully under the canopy of our dense branches. It

turns out that the monsters particularly enjoy these saplings (Warner 2005). If this

continues, will there ever be new trees? The usually joyous White Cedar tree have turned

brown with melancholy. The deer enjoy eating the bark so much, they have eaten off of

nearly every White Cedar in our forest (Forest Foods Deer Eat 2009).

  In conclusion, we demand that action be taken against these beasts. They are terrorizing

our green communities. For the sake of all beings, hear our cry. Propose to take action with

 us, and help control deer population, before it controls us.


References Cited


Forest Foods Deer Eat. Department of Natural Resources. 2009.


Ginseng-Hungry Deer Eating Appalachian Tradition. Roach, John. 2005.

Notes on White-tail Deer Populations in WV. Warner, David.  2005.



Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

Thoughtful Questions

  From:   Where my home is at ! - Other Stakeholder - HHS

              Statement                                                                11/5/2009            9:57:00 AM

     You don't have to fence in an entire forest. Just areas that are being seriously

     destroyed. It doesn't have to be the entire area, either. People that want to help can just

     go in their backyard(as long as there is a forest), and put up a fence to help grow trees

     and other forest floor plants. We have a fenced in area at our school and it seems to be

     working. If the deer eat all of the Ginseng, there won't be a sport of hunting for it at all.

      People might have to resort to growing it in a fenced area if that does happen.

       Response    The Frightened Forest - forest - PHS

                                                                                       11/17/2009      7:30:00 AM

             How do you plan to provide the monetary necessities that would accompany these

              fences? Keep in mind that these vivacious deer can easily leap over fences, so

             you are implying that we need to also provide a roofing. This is not logical

             because the trees need room to grow, and the 'fencing' would need to resemble a

             greenhouse makeup to accomodate the trees needs.


  From:   squirrel huggers - forest - EHHS

              Statement                                                                11/4/2009            8:28:00 AM

     All the questons you have asked about Ginseng arent really well thought out are they. You

      have resources, so look the the uses of Ginseng up, It has lots of medical uses, if you

     would research it we are sure you will see the light, and understand more fully the reason

      we have stuck it into our papers.

  From:   Save the Deer - Other Stakeholder - NHHS

              Ask                                                                         11/3/2009              1:01:00 PM

     Couldn't deer resistant plants be planted in or near the forest?


  From:   Where my home is at ! - Other Stakeholder - HHS

              Statement                                                             10/29/2009             9:14:00 AM

     The deer are eating plants in the same areas because people moved in and cut/cleared all

      the trees and land.  They don’t have as much of an area to eat in.  They wouldn’t need to

     feed in the same areas and destroy the smaller plants if it wasn’t for us.  Have people

     tried growing Ginseng in protected areas where the deer can’t eat it? That could be an

     alternative for the people that collect it. Then they wouldn’t have to worry about it as

     much.  And as many people have pointed out in their postings, trees can be fenced in.

     The fence doesn’t have to be super high, just high enough.  And other animals are eating

     the trees, don’t just blame the deer.

       Response    The Frightened Forest - forest - PHS

                                                                                       10/30/2009     6:39:00 AM

             Have you ever tried fencing in an entire forest of trees? With a 6 foot

             fence, which deer are still capable of jumping? Doesn't work. Also, in

             regards of the ginseng, people simply don't want it confined by fence.

             Citizens have made a sport of hunting Ginseng, just as they made a sport of

             hunting deer. Keep in consideration that if they attempted to grow it in

             captivity, industries would monopolize the growth of ginseng. Consequently,

             the people who have once relied on ginseng for a constant income will suffer.


  From:   squirrel huggers - forest - EHHS

              Statement                                                             10/29/2009            7:42:00 AM

     We agee very strongly with Frightened forest statements about the Ginseng, we also put

     something in our paper about it. The deer threaten the survival and as a medicine in

     todays enviorment, well you cant really waste it can you? We more than wholeheartedly

            agree with you. very good point

       Response    The Frightened Forest - forest - PHS

                                                                                       10/30/2009     6:40:00 AM

             We appreciate your support. May the forest be with you.



  From:   JJCFARM - farmer - BGHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009            9:08:00 AM

     how will you manage the deer population.  why do you harvest ginseng


       Response    The Frightened Forest - forest - PHS

                                                                                       10/28/2009     6:26:00 AM

             We will control deer population with the help of home owners, farmers, and

             hunters. With cooperation, we can quarantine these beasts.Ginseng: An herb

             that has been used to stimulate the adrenal gland and thereby increase energy. It

              also may have some beneficial effect on reducing blood sugar in patients with

             diabetes mellitus.  It is used in medicine and energy drinks. Also, it is used as a

             tonic for people with fatigue, poor appetite, shortness of breath and low

             resistance to infections.



The Shrub Huggers- Kemps Landing Magnet S. 6th grade


The Environmentalists’ View

Deer are cute, but although they’re important, they aren’t as important as trees, shrubs, and other under growth. They give us oxygen, food.  We need this to end. There is too many deer! Now, I don’t mean eliminating them. No, that would be horrid and could seriously mess up our ecosystem. What I’m saying, is, that we don’t need this many deer. I think we should increase hunting season. No, I know we should increase hunting seasons.   Not that long either. Just fifteen days on each side of restriction. Not long enough to kill them out, but enough time to make sure they don’t kill out our plants. Once they kill the trees, they’ve pretty much killed us. Are we going to just sit here while they ruin our world? No! Either we take back what’s rightfully ours, or let them run our state. Tell me, are we men of power, or weaklings that will subside whenever a fight comes up. Think about that.

The forest plant population is being overrun by the abundant deer population.  This is becoming a major problem because it is throwing the environment off balance and soon, the habitat will not be able to support the coming generations of deer. If the pattern continues, the deer population can extremely decrease and the hunting business will fail, and more importantly, some tree seeds that are spread by deer will not be spread and those plants will be competing for the same area and those trees will not grow as much as they could if there was a balanced population of deer.

  Some action is already taking place to balance the number of deer and help the trees and shrubbery grow healthily. They do this by making enclosure fences to keep out deer and provide space for necessary plants to grow. Later on, when the plants are fully grown, they can support a new generation of deer, and species will survive.

   As environmentalists, our solution to the over population of deer is to increase the hunting season by 15 days on each end and to create more enclosure fences to repair the damaged forests. This will make the hunting season from August 30 to December 30. The enclosure fences allow eaten shrubs and trees to grow. This underbrush when fully grown will create an abundant deer population. We also need to increase the hunting season so when the enclosure fences are taken down, the deer will just eat all of it again. The increased hunting season will balance the deer population to fit the amount of food that they have.

   With our solution, everyone is happy. The homeowners get more deer to use and a healthy forest. The animal rights activists win because increased hunting season makes the deer that have a limited amount of food be used for man and the ones that are alive prosper. There will be enough food for everybody. The hunters will become richer, the farmers can sell more food, the game biologists will be happy because the game animals will have enough food, and the fishing and game agency will win because with a longer hunting season means less time to enforce the rules of hunting deer.



Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

Thoughtful Questions

  From:   Students with Solutions - Other Stakeholder - SCHS

              Ask                                                                         11/5/2009           12:57:00 PM

     Is there a better solution to decreasing your deer population? If you increase the

     season that doesn’t guarantee that the hunters will actually go out and hunt. Also animal

     rights activists would not want people to hunt. Plus, a longer season would give MORE

     time to enforce the rules.

  From:   Donkey Farmers - farmer - NHHS

              Ask                                                                         11/3/2009            12:31:00 PM

     What specific things do deer do for our ecosystems?


Forest Lovers- Jefferson H.S


As the people who represent the forest, we wish to discuss the problem and possible solutions

for the forest.  Over-population is one of the main reasons the forest is having trouble.  The

forest  can’t produce enough foliage for the forever growing deer population.  The deer

inadvertinatly tear down the young saplings,  girdles trees, and stomp on new grass and leaves. 

The forest is picked clean there is not enough to eat for all the deer to survive.  As the deer

tear down the young trees and stomp new grass, they are contuinally decreasing the food which

is able to be consumed.  The trees are being killed as the bucks mark their territory.  They rub

their antlers on the tree and peel the peel the bark off all the way around the tree. This kills the

 tree over time.            

One way to control deer population would be extend the hunting season.  This

 would allow for the hunters to harvest more deer.  This extended season could last for just one

season.  The forester and games wardens could then reevaluate the deer population.  If the

population was still very high after the extended season it could continue for another year.  If

the population was in check, the original season would be reinstated. The rules for how many

deer a person could kill could also be compromised.  More doe and less bucks could be shot.  If

you have fewer doe’s then you have less reproduction, therefore, cutting down on population.

  Another problem that plagues the foreset is the harvesting.  Tree harvesting needs to be

regulated but not overdone.  The forest needs to be harvested some to ensure that the trees to

not become over populated and too thick. 



Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

Thoughtful Questions


  From:   CI Moderator

              Ask                                                                       11/14/2009             2:30:00 PM

     You cover two of the biggest threats to the forest in the Chesapeake Bay watershed:

     deer overpopulation and harvesting.  According to the U.S. Forest Service 100 acres of

     forest is lost to development in our region every day and suburban lawn is the fastest

     growing landcover.  That suggests much of the cut down forest habitat is near human

     developments.  Hunting is not allowed in suburbs and surely not near roads, shopping

     malls, or business parks.  Without hunting, what else can we do?

       Response    Forest Lovers - forest - JHS

                                                                                       11/16/2009      12:42:00 PM

             Relocation, although it is expensive, is always an option.  If the deer population

             were to get bad enough in these areas then the people living in these areas could

             pay either a tax or dues or a small amount to contribute to the expense. 

             Trapping could be used.  Some type of deer repellent could be used to keep the

             deer from over populating in this area.



Thoughtful Questions