White-tailed deer living in and around residential communities provide benefits to a variety of stakeholders. However, deer-human conflicts are common in residential areas, generally due to deer overabundance resulting from restrictions on hunting and abundant resources available to deer. Master of Science student, Shane Boehne, under the direction of Dr. Gino D’Angelo and Dr. B. Bynum Boley is working on a Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR)-funded project designed to better understand the perceptions, motivations, and preferences of stakeholders for managing deer in different types of residential communities (i.e., urban, suburban, semi-rural) in Georgia.
This study aims to develop a guide for best management practices for communities working with GADNR to develop customized deer management plans. Objectives of the research include reviewing urban deer management plans from states in the U.S.; surveying urban, suburban, and semi-rural residents to describe their preferences for deer management; and working with a selection of communities to identify opportunities for GADNR to guide deer management planning in residential areas. The results of this research will provide recommendations for fostering positive working relationships between GADNR, community leaders, and residents to improve deer management. The main deliverable will be a set of best management practices with a decision framework for application of alternatives for deer management to different types of communities. This tool will help GADNR provide the highest quality technical assistance to a wide range of communities seeking to manage deer.