The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Oh Deer!" 2009 Environmental Forum


Points of View with Thoughtful Questions



Homeowner POV & TQ Navigation

Headbangin'    Harford Homeowners    BGHS homeowners    Coconah   Harassed Homeowners  

DEER DIARY    Homely Deer    A and J homeowners club   DEER ON PROPERTY   Deer Huggers   

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



Headbangin' Homeowners Hampshire H.S.


In a world of dog eat dog, we human's are on the top. We control practically EVERYTHING.

Being that thing is true, we must be responsible for others. We must watch outselves, for each

action causes an aftershock. What we do affets everything, and right now the problem we must

 deal with is deer. We are angered by the heavily-consumation of our vegetation. The deer will

enter our yards and scarf down the flowers. They suck down bird feed and strip down the

forest floor. We want this to stop and feel we have solutions to this major problem. Without a

doubt, there is a deer overpopulation. According to The New York Times, in 2006, about two-

hundred human casualties were caused on account of deer-car collisions on the road.

Homeowners are angered by the loss of their vegetation. What are we to do? We feel that

contraception and an extended hunting season could possibly solve this problem.

Contraception can cut the birth rate entirely. Although this will be at a high cost, it will help the

 deer population dwindle to a healthy level. And an extended hunting season will allow us to

remove the deer quickly. A cut in prices to hunt will encourage hunters to go out more and get a

 deer. And this will also weed out the healthy and non-healthy deer.  We are open to any solution

 to solve the overpopulation issue that is humane and highly-effective. We feel that the best of

 technology should be used to cut the population. And being that it is so large and diseased, it

should definantly be done now.



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  From:   The Mighty Oak - forester - HHS

              Ask                                                                         11/5/2009             2:04:00 PM

     How exactly do you plan to continue this contraception of deer without having the price

     of the operation skyrocket

  From:   squirrel huggers - forest - EHHS

              Statement                                                                11/4/2009            8:46:00 AM

     This pov has little point except too show how people are "superior" to all other

     creature.... does being superior really give you much of a reason too kiill everything


  From:   The Farmer Coalition in the Deer Issue - farmer - HHS

              Ask                                                                      10/29/2009              1:01:00 PM

     How feasible is the method of contraception on deer?  Deer are active throughout the

     day, and they are wild nomads--they migrate from place to place; how effective is

     contraception on wild animals?

  From:   Simply for Nature - Other Stakeholder - SCHS

              Statement                                                             10/29/2009            9:50:00 AM

     Your solution will cost alot of money and by lowering the price to hunt you will lose more

     money for your contraception idea. Also, some of these ideas are not long term and how

     would they know they shot the same deer with the contraception chemical? No hunter

     wants to eat a deer filled with contraceptive hormones. Try to find a long term solution

     and a safer solution for the deer. Deer are not doing anything wrong, we are taking their

      forest so they have no choice but to come eat flowers and such from people’s yards.


 From:   bambi busters - hunter - NHHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009            9:32:00 AM

     how high will the costbe who will pat for it

  From:   Harford Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS

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

     What is the reason that they want to use contraception and hunting as solutions? 

     Why would you want to use a costly method?

       Response    Headbangin' Homeowners - homeowner - HHS

                                                                                       11/5/2009        10:10:00 AM

             It is true that contraception is costly, but the method is effective. We also feel

             that if the extention of the hunting season will make an impact in the deer

             population. If prices for hunting requirments could be lowered, this would

             encourage hunters to go out and hunt longer and more often.


  From:   Deer Huggers! - Other Stakeholder - NHHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009             9:21:00 AM

     Who do you feel that would be against contraception and extended hunting seasons,

     and when do you feel you should stop the hunting season, once they get to a healthy

     level, before, or after?

       Response    Headbangin' Homeowners - homeowner - HHS

                                                                                       11/5/2009        10:06:00 AM

             Most people who would be against contraception and an extended hunting season

              would be people who are unaware of the problem and are ignorant of the

             delimma we are dealing with. An extended hunting season will not immediatly

             erase the huge population of deer, but it will help slowly decrease the size. If

             the season was extended by about two weeks, this can make an impact to the size

              of the deer population. Contraception is also a useful technique to prevent any

             growth in the population. This would be somewhat difficult, but useful.


  From:   BGHS hunters - hunter - BGHS

              Statement                                                             10/26/2009             9:13:00 AM

     if you extend the season deer are still going to be in your yard.

       Response    Headbangin' Homeowners - homeowner - HHS

                                                                                       11/5/2009        9:53:00 AM

             Obviously, the deer aren't going to completely disappear from the area.

             (Expecially your yard.) Deer can be affected by many things in many ways. This

             process is gradual and will take time. Find what is the most effective for you to

             deflect or remove the deer and follow through with it for more than just one day.

              Soon you will see a change.




Harford Homeowners North Harford H.S


As a homeowner, people have the right to protect themselves, their families, their homes,

properties, etc. Homeowners work hard for what they earn, so they put their earnings towards

their home, whether it’s just for looks or to make it feel like a home. A major issue many are

facing, however, is deer.  They consume and destroy gardens and decorations that people

create to make their homes their own.  In certain areas, especially rural, but even suburban,

most people understand that deer are highly common and there isn’t a whole lot anyone can do

on their own.  As someone who can well-relate to this, I believe that there really isn’t too much

you can do.  Deer are natural to our nation and they always have been.  They’ve been here

longer than humans have, so I don’t believe in harming them just because they might have

slightly messed up your yard a little bit.  You can’t teach deer, but you can educate yourselves. 

You can put up wire fences around your gardens though to help protect your yard.  People could

 also fence around their whole yard if they felt it was necessary.  The most useful would most

likely be either a 5, 6, 7, or 8 ft. fence, which are expected to last anywhere between 20-30

years.  If this is what you choose, you will have to pay $6-8 per ft. of fencing to install.  If

you don’t want to go through with this procedure, you can also use smaller welded-wire, woven-

wire, or mesh wire fencing, which include a top on most.  Electric fences are also an option, but

 this could cause harm to both you and your family or the deer itself.  If fences aren’t a good

option for you or your home, then there are also deer repellents.  They come in either the edible

 form or the scent form.  The tastes and smells will seem unappealing to the deer and they will

not want to come close to your gardens.  Dogs have always been known as a form of protection,

so if you have one, then their bark will frighten the deer away.  However, if you have a lot of

neighbors it probably isn’t a good idea to use other sound activated devices due to the level of

disturbance and they are not as affective.  If none of these options work for you, then you

could also choose to plant a different variety of plants that appeal to you, but fail to appeal to

deer.  It is known that deer are overpopulated and I understand that, but I am strongly against

harming them.  They are a part of our earth just as much as humans are.  I think all living

creatures should be given the same chance to live, not the chance of life or death through

hunting them.  So instead, there are many other options that you can choose from in order to

keep your problem under control.



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  From:   Simply for Nature - Other Stakeholder - SCHS

              Statement                                                                11/2/2009           12:28:00 PM

     I really like your points; especially when you said "you can't teach deer but you can

     educate yourselves." I also agree that they are living beings too. We can't expect

     these deer to keep off the roads and our land just because we've moved here. This

     was their land before we came along and built roads to travel on and cars to travel

     in. They're simply living instinctively. In my opinion, we're being selfish if we expect

     to adapt the deer to our likings.


From:     Coconah - homeowner - HHS

              Statement                                                             10/27/2009              1:14:00 PM

     Check out invisible fences. Deer think these fences go extremely high and they

     cannot tell where they end so they do not attempt to jump them. :)   Check it out



  From:   BGHS hunters - hunter - BGHS

              Ask                                                                      10/26/2009             9:16:00 AM

     Whats the point of building fences, deer are capable of jumping really high?




BGHS homeowners- Buffalo Gap HS


  I am a homeowner and I don’t much appreciate these deer coming into my yard and eating all of my grass that I work so hard to plant. Every night I look out of my window and see deer all over my yard. Now they are pleasant to see every once in a while but not all of the time. I think that we need to think of a way to keep the deer in the forest and out of our yards.   As a homeowner I believe that the deer population is way too high. Every day when I come home from work I see deer just lined up along the road and I’m scared I will hit one. Whenever I get up in the morning I have to chase off all of the deer in my flower garden. The deer population is getting out of hand. I think that a solution to this huge issue would be to have less laws and regulations for the hunter. Also we need to keep some of the laws and regulations so we don’t totally wipe out all of the deer species but just simply reduce them.       We could extend hunting season and jus let the hunters shoot at will. A lot of the laws are to confusing to understand anyway so a hunter doesn’t really know if he can shoot or if he should hold his fire. So he ends up letting the deer go because he decides it’s not worth losing his hunting license over thus the deer goes on to eat my grass making my house look of less value.

       So as a homeowner I advise that the government or a community should do something about this major issue and they need to do it fast.



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  From:   Students with Solutions - Other Stakeholder - SCHS

              Statement                                                             11/5/2009            08:30 PM

Well since the deer are bothering your plants and your yard, try fencing it in. You could also try putting feeders far away from your property. Put them in the forests. Then, hope and pray once the feeder is empty they won’t come back. That is all I can tell you. Just make sure you don’t put the feeders by the road because we don’t want to hurt the deer or any people

  From:   Students with Solutions - Other Stakeholder - SCHS

              Statement                                                             10/29/2009            12:01:00 PM

     I agree with you that the deer population is too high in most areas but woah woah woah,

     who do you think you are?! We can't go around shooting at will. There are

     circumstances, for instance we can't shoot the young fawns and pregnant females

     because if we shoot them it may cause the whole population to collapse, which will

     decrease a part of the food chain. Also you said the deer were eating al your grass but

     wild grasses are only eaten when the shoots are young and tender. They are a food of

     last resort and help deer survive when deer cannot find other foods.  Deer prefer to eat

     nuts, herbaceous plants, trees, and shrubs.


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

              Ask                                                                      10/28/2009             9:10:00 AM

     Technically YOU are on the deers land.  They were here before any human was so you

     get off their land and dont blam them...Are you going to help them find homes?

  From:   Headbangin' Homeowners - homeowner - HHS

              Ask                                                                      10/28/2009            8:54:00 AM

     Well what would you suggest the government do about this? Because if the government

     does something that you don't like, such as spraying poison or shooting them with a

     disease that could be harmful to you or other people, then we would have another

     problem. So make sure you don't end up worse than what you started out as.



Coconah- Hampshire H.S.


There are major conflicts between homeowners and deer that can easily be avoided with some effort and understanding.  The most important problems that exist are:  deer eating plants on  private property, fence destruction, and garden damage.  First, deer are attracted to the flowers and plants that grow on homeowners property.  However, there are many plants that deer are not attracted to.  Two deer resistant vegetations are Pawpaw and Lavender. To find  more plants that are deer resistant, visit .  Another conflict between deer and homeowners is the problems they cause to the property, including:  fence destruction.  Deer attempt to jump fences and sometimes tear them up when they do.  About a week ago a deer got caught in my fence and tore it up; it also snapped its neck in the process. A solution to this problem could be invisible fence: to view go to,  These fences give deer the illusion that the fence goes sky high, when it really doesn’t, so the deer do not attempt to jump it. The money to finance this project could be worth it for the homeowner, if the deer are seriously bothering their land.  This idea may sound crazy, but around a wooded area this would be great.  Next, deer get into gardens and eat plants and ruin the hard effort put into them.  The solution for this would be to place shrubs around your garden or trees around your garden.  You could also put shrubs around your property.  These shrubs and trees include the following: firs, hollies, junipers, pines, and spruces. 


( ^_^)



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From The Moderator:  Are you suggesting that the problem of hitting deer with cars isn't a major problem for homeowners who are not stay-at-home hermits?


  From:   BGHS homeowners - homeowner - BGHS

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

     this would cost alot of people alot of money and who would provide the funding for

     all of this?  how do deer destroy fences?



Harassed Homeowners- Petersburg H.S


  The deer in Grant County are overpopulated and have caused several problems in our area.

  Something must be done to control this.  Deer are causing financial hardships and

property damage.  They eat our flowers, destroy our gardens, and cause vehicle accidents.

 The deer population has increased from about 29 deer per square mile to 36 in Grant

County.  That means deer are clearly overpopulated since experts say that populations

greater than 20 deer per square mile can cause serious problems.  (1)

Every year we spend hundreds of dollars landscaping our yards with beautiful flowers and

shrubs.  It takes us weeks of labor to cultivate our beautiful lawns, but the deer need only

a few hours to completely destroy it.  We put hard work into our gardens to cut down on

grocery bills, but we have to invest more in fencing to protect them from unwanted visitors.

  The food supply is not large enough to support the large population of deer, so they are

forced to eat our plants.

Perhaps the most serious problem associated with deer is vehicle accidents.  There are

approximately 1.5 million accidents caused by deer every year (2).  According to a study by

 State Farm Insurance in 2006, deer caused 200 human casualties and over $1.1 billion in

damage (3).  This tragic loss of life could be reduced with the reduction of the deer


Deer can cause many problems for homeowners when overpopulated.  In an effort to

reduce the large population, authorities should declare a new hunting season.  This would

allow the hunters to take care of this problem for us.  We have no problem with these

beautiful creatures, but they can become a nuisance when there are too many of them. 


Works Cited


2.        deer.html




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The Moderator:  You wrote: "In an effort to reduce the large population, authorities should declare a new hunting season.  This would allow the hunters to take care of this problem for us."  Does this actually happen, or do hunters push back against regulations that reduce the deer herd below what they are used to seeing.  You might read the article from Audubon Magazine, "Public Menace" that is referenced on the eForum's home page (Section 6) and then address the sociological problem it raises.   

       Response    Harassed Homeowners - homeowner - PHS

                                                                                       10/30/2009     6:36:00 AM

             After reading the article, we still feel that hunting is the best solution to the

             deer problem. What would you suggest as an alternative?

Moderator:  Hunting may well be the solution., if you can get the hunters to keep hunting does.  However, given the history of hunters rebelling at the idea of shooting enough deer to really reduce the deer herd to the point where the forests can recover, what kind of incentives might you offer to keep them in the woods, and keep them shooting does.   Should we consider carefully regulated market hunting to strategically reduce the herd in problem areas?  That would require new laws, and would make game managers very nervous - because the deer herd was wiped out in much of the east by excessive and uncontrolled market hunting

  From:   BGHS homeowners - homeowner - BGHS

              Statement                                                             10/26/2009            8:50:00 AM

     that is amazen. it touched me



DEER DIARY- Kemps Landing Magnet S. 6th grade


We represent homeowners.  We are trying to prevent conflicts between deer and people. We are here to give solutions for both people who do not mind deer on their land and also those who do not like deer on their land no matter what.  We also are trying to prevent problems for deer causing crashes along highly forested roads.

For those who love seeing deer on their land we have many possible solutions for you. One step you may want to consider is clearly posting no trespassing and no hunting signs around the perimeter of your land. If the hunters do not see that they are entering your land then how are they supposed to know that they are trespassing? Also if you have a garden but still want to be able to watch the deer you need to put up a fence to protect your garden. Another solution is deer repellent. All you need to do is find some of the plants that a deer would never eat in the wild such as sage, lemon balm, Russian sage, cleome, barberry, purple coneflower. You then crush those or blend with a liquid such as water with a little bit of hot sauce and put in spray bottle. This will cost you approximately $15 - $20 in expenses. You then spray over your plants and this repellent will deter any deer from eating your garden.

For those who do not want any part of deer on their land the simplest solution is a fence. They are not very expensive and they can deter most of the deer. Most of the time deer try to come onto your land is because of the deforestation that is forcing them to look for new plants. The competition that having to large of a population density and size has forced them to new places in search of food. They also may try to escape from predators in their habitat onto your land. Deer repellant is also helpful in keeping deer from your land but our home made method will not be as successful for keeping them of your land. Although a fence is our best solution for you keeping deer off your land.

The biggest problem for us homeowners however is car crashes caused by deer. Many times the trees have not been cleared far enough of the road so deer will jump out in front of cars.  Solution for this is to clear all obstructing objects 20 feet from the road. This will still allow all organisms and different species besides the deer to travel freely from different parts of the forest. This is important because the deer need to be able to access all of the parts of their ecosystem in search of their necessities. Another solution is creating fences along the side of the road so that deer cannot come onto the road. That though is not as good as our first solution because that will cause the deer to not be able to travel freely throughout the forest land. The human impact on the deer would be much greater if this solution had to be reached for crashes to not occur.




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  From:   CI Moderator

              Ask                                                                       11/14/2009             2:42:00 PM

     Very clever name!  We understand your interest is in protecting people from car-deer

     accidents, but, cutting all the trees back 20 feet on both sides of all the roads will cost a

     lot of forest.  Do you still think it is worth it?  You say fences “are not very expensive”. 

     We’ve read some farmer POVs where they say it is very expensive.  Can you give me a

     dollar amount per mile for your ideas?



Homely Deer- Kemps Landing Magnet S. 6th grade


  Deer are great organisms, but they are affecting our community in a degenerative way

because of their population size. We as homeowners do not want them to go away

completely because we like seeing them, but the deer eat our vegetables and flowers. Also,

people have been injured by deer collisions near our houses. Other homeowners face the

same problem. We do not want to threaten the deer, but simply prevent them from

entering our habitat. It is true that the deer population has exceeded the maximum

capacity of their ecosystem, but a solution would be using fences that exclude deer,

instead of having hunters killing them.  About 100 times a day in Virginia, deer get in an

accident with a car (Kimberlin). To prevent deer from causing accidents along the road,

people can put fences along the roadways to prevent deer from running in front of cars.

People can take away plants from the roadsides so that the deer do not want to come near

the cars (Facts). The deer’s population density is getting too high and we are trying to

manage it. This will get harder because there are few limiting factors. In 1998 the white-

tail deer population was at about 67 deer per square mile (Potomac Highlands Watershed

School, 11). There have been many collisions with deer and humans and we want it to stop.

If people would be careful on roadways we can prevent accidents. By using these solutions,

 we can protect both the deer and humans’ safety.



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  From:   CI Moderator

              Ask                                                                       11/14/2009             2:45:00 PM

     Wow, 100 accidents a day!  That is a big problem.  About 10 percent of the students who

     take the Oh Deer! pre-survey each year think hunting is wrong.  They would appreciate

     your effort to build fences instead of killing the deer.  What would these fences along

     the roadways look like?  Do you have any idea what they would cost?  How would fences

     impact other animals moving about (to eat or get water, etc.)?



A and J homeowners club- Jefferson H.S


  As a homeowner, deer are wonderful animals, but they can be pests a lot of the time. They

come up through the yard and help themselves to any of the shrubs and flowers that is growing

in the yard. During the winter time, I look forward to seeing the deer, but in the spring and

summer  they eat everything that is growing in the yard. Fences help a little, but deer have the

tendency to not care and jump over them. You can always plant deer repellent flowers like

bleeding hearts and fox glove flowers. You can also buy deer repellent, that also helps. My

opinion in this case is to buy deer resistant plants to help the front of you house look nice and

refreshed. The government should support the cost of putting up more resistant fence and ways

 to keep the deer population out of peoples yards. They also need to stop building so many

housing developments and killing the deer environment like the forest and mountain top removal.



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  From:   CI Moderator

              Ask                                                                       11/14/2009             2:47:00 PM

     Most environmentalists would agree with your desire to preserve existing forests.  You

     say:  “They also need to stop building …housing developments”.  Who are “they”?  If you

     are talking about the government “they” are us, the citizens; right?  Have you talked to

     your fellow homeowners about the government paying more?  Would taxes have to go up

     or does the government have some other way of raising money?



DEER ON PROPERTY- Kemps Landing Magnet S. 6th grade


Homeowners Against Deer: H.A.D


Deer are some of the cutest animals in the world, but when they invade our property than

we look at them as if they are as ferocious as a lion.  In the wild is where dear belong,

when they invade our property that is when we have to take action.  There are many ways

to keep dear off homeowner’s property such as invisible shock fences; the best way is to

use visible fences that are deer proof.


  When deer attack our property we have to take action, if you are really extreme and

want the deer to definitely comeback you could get a small cap guns to scare them off

with a loud bang or crash.  Another is that a pet like a dog could scare them off.  Their

main predators are coyotes and bobcats, so the dog noise may frighten them off.  Their

part in the ecosystem is important, once they eat all the plants in a forest they come for

our gardens.  So it is important that the environment is supplying the foods the deer need. 

Also if the deer run out of food and our gardens our protected the population will

decrease which is good with today’s amount of deer.


  When deer jump out of the middle of nowhere when you’re going down a road  and they

cause a big pileup, this is because there trying to find new land to live on because their land

 is either polluted by humans or they have already eaten all the food there.


  The gate will keep out the deer, but small rodents are bound to get in, sprays may work

for this but it may affect the crops or flowers that are growing.  Although deer are some

of the cutest animals on the outside they can really do some damage.



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  From:   CI Moderator

              Ask                                                                       11/14/2009             2:49:00 PM

     Deer "ferocious as a lion"; that is a good one!  You mention coyotes and bobcats.  As a

     homeowner would you be okay with more predators allowed in the forest near your

     home?  You say if the deer run out of food the population will decrease.  It sound like

     you think everything will take care of itself.  Isn’t the deer’s food the plants that make

     up the forest itself?  What will happen when all the plants are gone?




Deer Huggers- Kemps Landing Magnet S. 6th grade


This group of homeowners agrees that the deer population has been over populated and something should be done. However, we do not think that the deer population should go to an all-time low or be threatened but it should become lower than it is. We have all been in a few accidents with deer. Our research tells us that there is an average of 1.5 million people who have been in car accidents with deer in a year making a total cost of about $1billion in vehicle damage.  It is partly our fault that the deer population is very high because we have endangered most of their predators making them rare prey. The deer reproduction has increased the deer population but decreased the amount of trees growing in their wildlife habitat making their community unbalanced. There is also a huge human impact on conservation. Many environmentalists have added fenced in gardens protected from deer to help the ecosystem grow.  The deer have also impacted many households and gardens. Being herbivores, they have eaten flowers and vegetables in gardens. This has been a problem, but not the largest. We know that the deer over population has been a huge problem but many people do not realize that deer are an important part of the forest community. Though they are a rare prey, they are still prey and if we have any chance of helping their endangered predators’ population grow larger, we cannot threaten the deer population.  They are also a great source of hunting, one of the largest in the US. Deer are beautiful creatures in wildlife and are a great attraction for our tourism. In conclusion, the amount of deer should lower. They should have a limited population, but still have one.



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