Each year, starting in October, Willowsford Conservancy’s Deer Management Program begins. The purpose of the program is to balance the deer population on Willowsford Conservancy property with human safety and land conservation priorities.

Lower deer populations and densities help to:

  • support a healthier deer population
  • reduce risk to human safety and health
  • reduce damage to native vegetation, agricultural crops, and residential landscapes
  • reduce the spread of invasive plants
  • improve habitat conditions for other wildlife, and
  • support a greater diversity of plants and wildlife overall.

We achieve these objectives by collaborating with a group of trained and licensed hunters that volunteer in a management program . Hunters support the community through volunteer service hours and serve the environment through population management.

Participating hunters abide by county and state regulations as well as a very strict set of rules that Willowsford Conservancy sets. Our program is guided by recommendations from a 3-year study conducted by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute here in Conservancy open space. After several years of implementation, we are already seeing improvements in the health of our forest understories!