Stop Feeding the Deer – for their sake

January 7th, 2010

“Feeding deer in winter may seem like a kind thing to do, but in reality, it’s not a good idea. Wildlife experts have long discouraged feeding, saying it makes deer more vulnerable to disease…” (Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program) http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/Asset/iu_files/DeerFeedingFactsheet.pdf
Deer fed “artificial” food:
• may actually starve during winter
• will diminish the gene pool
• are more susceptible to disease
Bacteria in deer stomachs adjusts to seasonally available foods. In winter, bacteria are designed specifically to digesting woody plants. However, when supplemented by “artificial” foods commonly fed by humans, the bacteria are inefficient at breaking down the food resulting in malnourishment, weight loss, and susceptibility to disease.
People naively believe deer cannot survive without supplementing their diet but this is not true. Deer have evolved and survived for eons without handouts but their survival is questionable with handouts
Feeding the deer interferes with natural population control. Death is a part of life and natural selection contributes to the viability of a healthy herd. In a natural environment, sick deer are culled from the gene pool by predators. Unnatural feeding also creates an artificially high population density which without predators creates optimal conditions for the spread of disease.
So, if you love the deer, stop feed them for their sake.

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