A Comprehensive Approach

The County Council created the Howard County Deer Task Force in 1996. The Task Force was charged with investigating the deer situation within the county, examining options available to deal with problems, and recommending a course of action. As a result of the Task Force’s work, a comprehensive management plan for white-tailed deer in Howard County has been developed by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, Natural Resource Division, with input from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife & Heritage Division, and the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service.

The goal of the Howard County Comprehensive Deer Management Plan is to maintain a stable, balanced deer population within acceptable limits of the biological, ecological and cultural carrying capacities. The plan provides for public education about deer, the collection of accurate data on deer-human conflicts, and research on deer ecology and population dynamics. It describes nine deer management alternatives, discusses the associated costs and benefits of each and sets guidelines for the implementation of population management options, including managed hunting programs, to reduce deer numbers where necessary.

No single solution will apply universally to the entire county. Controlling deer related impacts will require a cooperative effort between public agencies and private citizens using a variety of management tools. Reducing deer/human conflicts will take time and visible results will be evident only after several years of cooperative effort.

For more information on Howard County’s Comprehensive Deer Management Plan contact Phil Norman at 410-313-1675.

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