White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are perhaps the most abundant large game mammal in the United States and the most popular game species in Georgia. The 2011 US Fish and Wildlife Service Hunting, Fishing & Wildlife Watching survey suggests that hunting may generate nearly one billion dollars in economic activity in Georgia. However, deer are capable of inflicting severe damage to crops, property, and people. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimated that losses to field crops, vegetables, fruits, and nuts exceeded $765million USD in 2001. White-tailed deer were responsible for 58% of field crop losses and 33% of losses to vegetables, fruits, and nuts. In other studies, NASS estimated that wildlife caused 10 million dollars in damage to crops in Maryland in 2011 and deer were responsible for 77% of the damage. A 2006 survey of crop producers in North Central Indiana by Purdue University Extension reported total losses to corn by deer at $90,000 - highest of any wildlife species. Insurance company statistics suggest there are over 52,000 deer vehicle collisions (DVC) annually in Georgia at an estimated average cost of $3,995 per DVC in 2015. However, we know little about the economic impact of deer to row-crop agriculture in Georgia.
WSFNR-17-38 Mengak.pdf (314.92 KB)