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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2012

25 years ago: Increased deer population causing problems for farmers, motorists

November 21, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Nov. 21, 1987:

Kansas was in the middle of a deer population explosion, according to a Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department official. Keith Sexson, deer project leader for the department, said that official estimates for the state were now in the range of 300,000 to 400,000 deer. Only 30 years ago, Sexson said, "there were basically no deer in Kansas." Unregulated hunting in the late 1800s and early 1900s had wiped out most of the deer and other big game, he said. However, a hunting ban had allowed the deer population to increase, leading to a decision by the state in 1965 to allow limited deer hunting. Limits on hunting and plentiful food and cover had been allowing the deer population to thrive since then, and the large numbers of deer were now causing a problem for farmers. "There's not too many deer for the 'carrying capacity' of the land," Sexson said, "but we're fast approaching that point where there are too many deer for the economics of the state." In addition to crop damage, deer were also causing problems for Kansas motorists. Reported road kills in the state during the previous year had totaled 3,800, but officials said that only half such incidents were actually reported. National Geographic estimated the number of deer killed by cars each year in the United States to be between 250,000 and 400,000.

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