Acceptability and Conflict Regarding Suburban Deer Management Methods

Rachael E. Urbanek, Clayton K. Nielsen, Mae A. Davenport, Brad D. Woodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Natural resource agencies and the public often agree on reasons to manage white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in suburban areas; however, there is frequent disparity regarding which deer management method is most acceptable. We surveyed 660 residents around 22 conservation areas in a suburban Illinois county to evaluate the acceptance and the potential for conflict regarding five deer management methods countywide, in urban and rural areas, and in high (≥11 deer/km2) and low (≤9 deer/km2) deer density areas. Archery hunting was the most acceptable method followed by gun hunting, sharpshooting, and fertility control; conducting no deer management was unacceptable (p <.001). Archery hunting and no deer management had the least conflict among residents; fertility control had the most conflict (.001 ≥ p ≤.010). We recommend managers conduct surveys that incorporate public conflict regarding deer management methods to gain information that may guide education and resolve management disputes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Keywords management, Odocoileus virginianus, potential for conflict index, survey, white-tailed deer We thank the McHenry County Conservation District for funding this survey and A. Basten, W. Kummerer, and G. Ryman for their assistance. We thank E. M. Schauber (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) for statistical advice. We also thank the Departments of Zoology and Forestry, the Graduate School, the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Science, and the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


  • Odocoileus virginianus
  • management
  • potential for conflict index
  • survey
  • white-tailed deer


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